Posted on August 10th, 2009

By Walter Jayawardhana

Sri Lanka has hired an Indian high-tech security firm to keep an electronic eye open on Colombo and the island’s entire coastal belt to ensure that no terrorist attack will occur in the future.

The Times of India newspaper said Sri Lanka has hired Barnas International Private Limited to strengthen the surveillance of the island nation’s capital city and the country’s Northern region that has been wrestled from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May this year.

The long war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) may be over and most of the outfit’s leaders eliminated, but the Sri Lankan government is apparently not willing to take any chances and has hired a Chennai-based firm to strengthen its surveillance network, the newspaper said in a front page story, quoting company sources.

Further indicating the company’s contractual obligations the report said, under the project, the entire Sri Lankan coast will come under a specially- designed surveillance system with sophisticated thermal-imaging cameras and a software that can detect the nature of the moving object.

Barnas vice president Sivaji Rao , who will be taking over the Sri Lankan project was quoted having said, “Thermal-imaging cameras, unlike conventional ones, are so powerful that they can pick up images from distances nearly 20 km into the sea. A specially-designed software will analyse the nature of the images and sound out an alarm in the central control centre when a boat or ship approaches the coast,”

He was further quoted as saying that the Sri Lankan government had realised the difficulty of monitoring the entire coast manually and gone in for an unmanned surveillance system. Sivaji Rao said the Sri Lankan government was worried about the security situation and had embarked on the project of enhancing its surveillance systems on a war footing.”Apart from providing coastal security, all sensitive areas will be brought under strict surveillance under the project. We are not using conventional cameras and digital video recorders here but are using highly sophisticated and specially-designed equipment and software. All the cameras involved will be internet-enabled and can be monitored by senior officials even when they are on the move through cell phones and laptops,” he said.

The following is the rest of the story:

 The company will also be taking up similar projects in the war-ravaged northern parts. Although the control of these provinces had been wrested from the Tigers, the Sri Lankan government is not yet ready to rule out a possible comeback by the LTTE and is keen on nipping any extremist activities in the bud, the sources added.

Barnas had sent a similar proposal to the Tamil Nadu government with regard to the surveillance of its coastal areas but no decision had so far been taken, the sources said.

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