While stating that Sri Lanka could learn from the mistakes the US have done before and after the 9/11 attacks, former US Ambassador Robert O Blake Jr yesterday said the incumbent government should establish a high-level group of technocrats similar to the one existed when Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the defence secretary, to prevent terror attacks in the country.
The former ambassador, who is now Senior Director (India and South Asia) of McLarty Associates, expressed this while delivering a presentation titled US Foreign Policy towards China and South Asia and what it means for Sri Lanka, at the BMICH in Colombo.
The event was organised by the Pathfinder Foundation in partnership with the Joint Apparel Association Forum Sri Lanka (JAAFSL).
Mr. Blake said having a high-level group of technocrats in Sri Lanka could definitely benefit the country and that Sri Lanka could learn from the mistakes the US have done before and after the 9/11 attacks.
He said one of the biggest mistakes that led to 9/11 was the US’s failure to properly communicate between its intelligence and law enforcement agencies particularly the FBI and the CIA and various law enforcement agencies.
“So to improve inter agency communication and coordination, then President Bush ordered a new committee to be established. The committee had senior people of all the relevant intelligence and law enforcement authorities. They met on a weekly basis to evaluate all the intelligence of the US and to determine what was credible and then most importantly to take action against those credible things. Individual people were assigned specific responsibility for each one of the lead which were considered credible. As a result of that, we haven't had a successful terrorist attack by a foreign terrorist group since then. We had plenty of domestic terrorist problems but the ISIS and Al-Qa'ida had not been able to attack like they did in Paris or any other places. In fact, Sri Lanka did have such a group during the war when Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the defence secretary and he personally shared that and made sure that all the different branches of the intelligence of which there are many in this country, shared information and then shared that information up to the senior level people and then they themselves were making sure that somebody was looking into those and making sure that the attacks didn't take place. So I think that's a very important thing that the current government should think about and re-establish some kind of a group like that,” he said.
He said the Easter Sunday attacks were not just personal tragedies for the families of those who were killed and injured as the attacks also opened up old wounds that were still fresh from Sri Lanka's 26 year civil conflict.
Mr.Blake said one priority during investigations must be for the government and the security services to conduct investigations in a professional and impartial manner that respects rights of all Sri Lankans and does not inadvertently add to the problem.
“The government should make every effort to limit the scope and duration of any emergency regulations. Since I have been here for the last few days, I witnessed quite encouraging reports of how the security services in general have conducted themselves. Sri Lanka must be careful not to allow IS or other extremist groups to take root in Sri Lanka,” he said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)
Pix by Kushan Pathiraja
Comments - 13
Missaka Wednesday, 08 May 2019 08:12 AM
SL actually need a leader like that Technocrat!!!! Otherwise no progress can expect in future in all fields.
K c fernando Wednesday, 08 May 2019 08:57 AM
When US understand and admire, there are 6.2 million fools amoung us, who thought bird in the bush is worth more than the bird in the hand, against all odds.
Whats the use of comenting, we wait for the vote.
Leslie Roman Wednesday, 08 May 2019 09:01 AM
Seems like US has decided who should be next SL president
Lord Wolfstein Wednesday, 08 May 2019 09:55 AM
It would have been more diplomatic if Blake had said, "A technocrat like Ranasinghe Premadasa." To name a murderer and torturer as an example was at least thoughtless. But probably Blake did not know R. Premadasa.
A.Dharmakulasingham Wednesday, 08 May 2019 09:33 AM
Very true observation from an important person.That is the same opinion shared by many Srilankan.
SN Wednesday, 08 May 2019 09:55 AM
But an important technocrat has been given to look after wildlife. What a crime
kumar Wednesday, 08 May 2019 10:06 AM
Who is ISIS?,Puppet created
Lawry Wednesday, 08 May 2019 10:59 AM
Collision from rhe Trump land
Gamini Wednesday, 08 May 2019 11:01 AM
We need to have a leader with future vision to happen this instead of a selfish person who think about there future.
jaliya Wednesday, 08 May 2019 11:04 AM
This man is an idiot and a half speaking garbage without having an understanding of the complete picture ? Did our intelligence services share any physical evidences with the investigators of Interpol or FBI ?
Yehiya Wednesday, 08 May 2019 12:03 PM
Corruption punished peoples are in the front row.
Kithsiri Wednesday, 08 May 2019 12:05 PM
Really.. we did not know no.. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us...
Ravi Wednesday, 08 May 2019 12:09 PM
Finally the truth is out. All BS false propaganda should be ignored. Do the right thing for the sake of the country.
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