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Indian counter-terrorism force trained Rajapaksa’s personal security

The chief commando of Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s security force, has stated that India’s counter-terrorism force, NSG, had trained provided training to members of the Prime Minsiter's personal security team. 

“The NSG close protection force has trained 21 personnel of Sri Lanka’s PM security division in close protection skills. The honourable Prime Minister of Sri Lanka wrote to the honourable Indian PM and praised the training,” said NSG director SS Deswal.

This news follows a virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, where defence, security and other “international issues of mutual interest” were discussed. India and Sri Lanka have both been subject to deepening militarisation. According to NSG director SS Deswal, following the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the Indian government has increased spending and upgrading of military technology and surveillance.

“Post the 26/11 Mumbai attacks of 2008 we have corrected and upgraded many areas...the force has remotely operated vehicles, satellite communications system, armoured robots, unmanned aerial vehicle detection radar system and anti-drone capabilities,” Deswal said.

Sri Lanka has also witnessed increasing militarisation with military officials, who have been credibly accused of war crimes, engaging more in civilian roles.

According to the Economist,

Generals are taking over civilian roles and are placed “in charge of customs, the port authority, development, agriculture and poverty eradication. The army commander, General Shavendra Silva, runs the coronavirus task-force” and much of the military elite are expected to be awarded ambassadorships.

However, there is little reason to suspect that military men will “do a better job of running ports, reducing poverty or increasing crop yields”. The concern, they note, is accountability as, “the positions filled by officers have little civilian oversight”. They further state that accountability has not been aided by the decision to dissolve parliament enabling the president to rule by decree.

Read more here:  Sri Lanka’s new president is putting soldiers in charge of everything – The Economist

Read more at The Economic Times.

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