Highways and Investment Promotion Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne says that the new government’s emphasis is on soft infrastructure in preference to hard infrastructure.
One of the advantages Sri Lanka has is its educated population, one of the best in the region. If soft infrastructure is developed, the country could achieve great progress, given its rich human resources and its unique geographic positioning in the world.
The Deputy Minister said so while delivering his keynote address as joint Chief Guest, along with Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Ajith P. Perera, at the opening of the two-day European Union funded International Conference on “Assessing the Threat of Cybercrime”, held in Colombo recently.
Organised by the Council of Europe (CoE), the conference was funded by the European Union (EU) under the joint EU/ CoE Project “Global Action on Cybercrime (GLACY)”. The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) and the Sri Lanka Computer Readiness Team (SLCERT) were the Sri Lankan hosts.
Nearly 100 Criminal Justice experts from 17 countries gathered in Colombo to share their expertise with each other at the event.
Placing the conference in its current perspective, the Deputy Minister said: “Good governance is in the environment. Your conference on cybercrime fits in very well in the framework that we have defined. We want to create an environment of work standards for our people. Therefore Sri Lanka is really privileged to have been invited to join this Council of Europe Convention on fighting cybercrime. I know that with our accession to the Convention, certain benefits will accrue to this country, including the benefit of creating a centre of excellence to train Criminal Justice and law enforcement officials in this region”.
Explaining to the largest ever international gathering of Cyber Crime enforcement officials about the scope of Cybercrime, the Deputy Minister said: “The Japanese Ambassador mentioned that one of the things in fighting cybercrime is also to fight against terrorism. We have had a long history in it. Our history is now well known and well documented. I would say that our new frontier is also to fight financial crime. It is significant that the Financial Crime Investigation Division Head is also participating. A priority of our government is also to fight financial crime, where computers and Computer networks are widely used”.
Paying a tribute to an institution with which the Deputy Minister had been associated in the past, Deputy Minister Wickramaratne paid a tribute to ICTA’s leadership in helping to formulate the required legal framework for ICT development.
Delivering the concluding remarks ICTA Programme Director / Legal Advisor Jayantha Fernando, said: “We have reached a significant milestone today. The primary motivation factor to host this event was the decision by the Council of Europe to invite Sri Lanka to accede to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. Joining this important Convention was a long felt dream for many of us, both at the Council of Europe side and on the Sri Lankan side. The process that led to Council of Europe inviting Sri Lanka to join this Convention was no easy task. It had many challenges on all fronts. But the will commitment and dedication of many people across the globe eventually made it possible. Therefore, it is our duty to remember those who contributed to that process”.
“The team at the Cyber Crime Division of the Council of Europe is very small. But its effectiveness to cut across geographical boundaries to reach out to far and distant countries is perhaps the singular reason why the Budapest Cybercrime Convention has become such an effective tool in the global fight against Cybercrime”.