US embassy cable - 02COLOMBO1890

OBSERVATIONS FROM SRI LANKA/MALDIVES DELEGATES REGARDING ATA COUNTER TERRORISM LEGISLATION SEMINAR

Identifier: 02COLOMBO1890
Wikileaks: View 02COLOMBO1890 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Colombo
Created: 2002-10-09 10:50:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: ASEC KCRM PGOV PTER COSI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS COLOMBO 001890 
 
SIPDIS 
 
S/CT MICHAEL KRAFT; DS/ATA GEORGE FREDERICK; AND DOJ/OPDAT 
JESSICA WILSON. 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ASEC, KCRM, PGOV, PTER, COSI 
SUBJECT: OBSERVATIONS FROM SRI LANKA/MALDIVES DELEGATES 
REGARDING ATA COUNTER TERRORISM LEGISLATION SEMINAR 
 
REF: STATE 189710 
 
1. (U) From September 8 to September 13, AmEmbassy Colombo 
Assistant Regional Security Officer, Philippe Furstenberg, 
accompanied delegations from Sri Lanka and Maldives to 
Washington, D.C. for an ATA counter-terrorism legislation 
seminar.  Per reftel request the following observations were 
provided by members of the delegation to the A/RSO both 
during and after the seminar: 
 
2. (U) Both delegations noted the importance of conducting 
the CT seminar in a regional context.  Many conversations 
between delegations during coffee breaks and over lunch 
resulted in relationships developed among regional 
counterparts. 
 
3. (U) With very little exception, both delegations felt the 
CT seminar was extremely valuable and worthwhile.  It became 
apparent that the five participating countries differed 
greatly in their state of legislative drafting.  Sri Lanka 
was among the countries with the most comprehensive 
counter-terrorism laws.  This is in large part due to the 
20-year war Sri Lanka has been engaged in against an 
FTO-listed terrorist group.  The Maldives, on the other hand, 
does not even have a formal criminal code and needs further 
assistance developing the legal framework for countering 
terrorism. 
 
4. (U) Nonetheless, much of the conversation within both the 
Sri Lankan and Maldivian delegations centered around 
enforcement assistance.  There was widespread belief that 
assistance with creation of immigration and criminal 
databases to track known and potential terrorists would be of 
great value.  Further integration of this database with 
regional partners would be of additional import. 
 
5. (U) Sri Lanka and the Maldives noted their lack of 
sophistication in attacking money laundering.  A 
comprehensive law is in the final stages of development in 
both countries, but the issue of enforcement is clearly a 
weak point.  Sri Lanka and the Maldives request assistance 
with creation and training of Financial Investigation Units 
(FIU) 
 
6. (U) Sri Lanka further emphasized its wish to conclude a 
Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the United States. 
 
7. (U) Since the seminar, the US Embassy in Sri Lanka has 
already taken action to assist the Maldives and Sri Lanka in 
their counter-terrorism efforts: 
 
8. (U) On September 30, 2002 the USG and the Attorney General 
of the Maldives signed a grant proposal in which the USG will 
provide two slots to the Maldives Law Commission to attend 
the Tulane University Legislative Drafting course in New 
Orleans.  This proposal was crafted in part due to the 
immediate feedback given to the U.S. Embassy regarding the 
ATA course.  Conversations with one delegate from the 
Maldives and member of the Law Commission noted that several 
important CT laws have been preliminarily drafted and await 
refinement by the law commission.  This includes a securities 
act, a telecommunications act, a customs act and a civil 
aviation act.  The proposal for FY ,03 will assist in 
reducing the back log and tightening the Maldives 
counter-terrorism posture. 
 
9. (U) In addition, a State Department-funded Sri Lanka 
Police management and organization proposal (principally 
geared at counter-narcotics) has been more than doubled.  An 
expected $400,000 will be spent in FY ,03 to improve the 
Police,s ability to track crime and share criminal 
intelligence. 
 
10. (U) Both the Maldives and Sri Lanka appreciate any USG 
assistance that can be provided.  Whether through the 
extremely successful ATA program, INL or any other source, 
both countries could use assistance with enforcement training 
and legislative drafting. 
 
11. (U) The seminar was a good beginning that we look forward 
to capitalizing on. 
WILLS 

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