Secretary graces Signature Seminar of Bandaranaike Centre for
[July 12 2018]
to the Ministry of Defence Mr.
Kapila Waidyaratne PC was the
Chief Guest at the third
Signature Seminar 2018 organized
by the Bandaranaike Centre for
International Studies (BCIS) at
the centre's auditorium at the
BMICH, today (12).
The Secretary was received by the Director of the BCIS,
Dr. Harindra Vidanage upon his arrival at the venue.
The seminar, themed "Transnational Organized Crime in
Sri Lanka: Dark Side of the Hub" is held with the objective to discuss
and disseminate knowledge on the impact of Transnational Organized Crime
(TOC) in Sri Lanka as the country develops as a maritime hub. The one
day seminar will see thematic discussions being made on "Law enforcement
challenges in confronting TOC", "Cybercrimes in Sri Lanka", Importance
of effecting maritime strategy for deterring TOC", and " Australia's
experience in mitigating TOC".
Making the keynote address on "National Security
Implications of TOC", Secretary Waidyaratne said that, around the world
organized crime has changed strategic doctrines and threat assessments.
There is a lack of information on transnational criminal markets and
trends. And without a global perspective there cannot be evidence-based
policy effectively addressing the issue. He stressed the necessity to
understand and grasp the narratives of TOC before laying down action.
He said, TOC not only threaten peace and human
security, but on a larger scale undermine the economic, social,
cultural, political and civil assembly of societies around the world.
The vast sums of money involved can compromise legitimate economies and
have a direct impact on governance, such as through corruption and the
manipulation of elections.
The irony of TOC is that major illicit trade routes
emanate from major economies meaning that world's biggest trading
partners are also the world's biggest markets for illicit goods and
services. This not only reflects the correlation between TOC and global
trade, but also the lack of regulatory and legal mechanisms to address
the issue adequately, he further elaborated. The Secretary also said
that, over the years, the nature and landscape of the TOC has evolved.
He noted that Transnational Organized Crime (TOC)
brings forward a serious and growing threat not only to national, but
also international security. While the origins of illicit TOC trade
flows emanate from developed countries, its effects are mostly
penetrated to the developing and conflict-ridden countries, due to its
weak rule of law and state institutions.
He said that, ties between TOC cartels, government
institutions and high-end business typhoons represent a significant
threat to the economic growth and democratic institutions. It is
estimated by The World Bank that about $1 trillion is spent each year to
bribe public officials, causing economic distortion and damage to
legitimate economic activity, he reveled.
Further speaking he said that the role of intermediate
facilitators cannot be exempted. Semi legitimate players such as
accountants, attorneys, bankers and real estate brokers who link the
legit illicit spectrum of the trade providing services to customers,
providers, criminals and terrorists alike. Organized crime groups also
work with local criminals, leading to increased rates of corruption,
extortion, racketeering, violence and other sophisticated crimes at the
UNTOC acts as the main legal framework laid down to
address TOC. However successful combat of TOC, requires partnerships at
all levels. Governments, businesses, civil society, international
organizations and people in all corners of the world have a part to
play, he added.
He underlined some aspects critical in fighting TOC as
coordination, awareness, intelligence, technology and capacity building.
In conclusion he said that, transnational crime will
continue to grow until the paradigm of high profits and low risks are
challenged. Tackling organized crime should emanate not only
internationally, but locally as well. It is imperative that corrective
measures that address the inception of these crimes should be addressed
than preventive measures post criminal activity. Advancing corrective
measures must address the smallest link in the transnational crime web,
the consumer, who has the capacity to breakdown this engulfing web of
Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravinrda C
Wijegunaratne, Mr. Palitha Fernando PC, Senior DIG MR Latiff, Mr. Rohan
Palliyaguru, Home Affairs Minister Counsellor/Regional Director,
Australia Mr. Scott Matheson, senior tri forces officers and invitees
were also present at the occasion.