Use group of technocrats like one during Gota’s time: Blake
Posted on May 7th, 2019

Lahiru Pothmulla Courtesy The Daily Mirror

While highlighting the importance of a united leadership in Sri Lanka, former US Ambassador Robert O Blake Jr yesterday said the incumbent government should establish a high-level group of technocrats similar to the one existed when Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the Defence Secretary, to prevent terror attacks in the country.

The former ambassador, who is now Senior Director (India and South Asia) of McLarty Associates, said this while delivering a presentation titled US Foreign Policy towards China and South Asia and what it means for Sri Lanka at the BMICH in Colombo.

The event was organised by the Pathfinder Foundation in partnership with the Joint Apparel Association Forum Sri Lanka (JAAFSL)

Mr Blake said having a high-level group of technocrats in Sri Lanka could definitely benefit the country and that Sri Lanka could learn from the mistakes the US have done before and after the 9/11 attacks.

In fact, Sri Lanka did have such a group during the war when Gotabaya Rajapaksa was Defence Secretary and he personally shared that and made sure that all different branches of the Intelligence of which there are many in this country, share information and then sharing that information up to the senior levels making sure that such attacks don’t take place.

So I think that’s a very important thing that the government should think about in establishing a group like that,” he said. (

15 Responses to “Use group of technocrats like one during Gota’s time: Blake”

  1. Vaisrawana Says:

    Fear the Greeks even when they bear gifts!

  2. Christie Says:

    Americans are friend of our country not enemies.

    It is the Indian Parasites in USA who are our enemies.

  3. Vaisrawana Says:

    Agreed, Christie. Americans are not our enemies; they could even be our friends. But the problem at present is that they are in cahoots with the Parasites. The evolving American strategy regarding the Rajapaksa’s, however, seems to be ‘to kiss the hand that you can’t bite’.

  4. Dilrook Says:

    We don’t need Blake to tell this. Sri Lanka already has technocrats working in all branches of the military and in intel. It can be further strengthened.

    The additional unit that operated during the war against Tamil terrorists had nothing to do with intel. They mainly focused on weapons systems. It is of little use now.

    However, the problem is not in intel.

    The problem is disregarding intel and not acting on it. Fix that. I don’t see any action taken to fix the problem. Most terrorist suspects are already out on bail. Any fool can predict what will happen in the near future.

  5. Sirih Says:

    All our hard work was dismantle by the Ranil and his gang… that include cyber war fare division and surveillance network.
    I have released a document today re. how all this was done by the present govt… It will be published with Asian Tribune and others..

  6. Sirih Says:

    http://www.asiantribune.com/node/92728

  7. Nimal Says:

    Our two bit ambude clad politicians will take a bribe or promise of an visa will let in the Greeks that bear gifts.Our politicians just as the filth in any third world country aren’t working for the benefit of the country or it’s people, just there in power for their own benefit, just like our past criminal kings that ruled over us.
    People in the third world like in Tunisia and Sudan are rising up against their cruel and crooked leaders, thanks to their access to the internet where they could see a better world outside their own and they want the same.
    SL should never be opened to geopolitics and we can provide our own technocrats.

  8. aloy Says:

    I do not agree with Christie that everything under the sun can be attributed to Indians, though ‘Thirupathy’ intervention in the bombing attempt at Taj Samudra Hotel is a mystery.

    There is nothing that money can’t buy. “Salli, deiyannge malli” as the saying goes. Our judicial system has gone for a six. Even a child knows that if one plays with big money nobody can stop him. Anything can be done under the radar provided a few powerful guys are with you. We have seen the most corrupt fellows in the previous government going in and out of remand prison and in and out of country at will. They are now sure to return to power as our people have only two weeks of memory.
    Only god knows what the three planes that were sitting under the radar on the tarmac at MR’s backyard for three days in the world’s loneliest airport, couple of months ago, did.
    So, no intelligent surveillance or cyber security measures can prevent us going down further unless we have a patriotic person to sit at the top of security council. I am not yet convinced whether Gota is the man for it. When he was virtually the person heading it, we were at war. We have seen the depth to which he sank after the war ended.

  9. Christie Says:

    Thanks alloy.

    Who is got money in our country? It is the Indian parasites in our country. It is the same as in Fiji, Mauritius, Guyana and in Africa.
    You know what I am talking.

    Our politicians are hardly corrupt compared to the Indian Parasites who run this country.

    Just the other day when the police inspected a Bora merchants palaces in Bandarawela, it was videoed by a local media. Bora man did not like that. Next day Sirisena sends a media release banning it.

    See how powerful are these Indians are.

  10. Christie Says:

    This government was installed by India.

    India and Indian parasites got Sobitha to divide the Sinhalese and Nanasara to alienate the Muslims.

    With Indian Parasite block vote the present regime was installed.

    India and Indian Parasites run our country and looks like they are winning.

    India may be manipulating Wahabis. Because Islam does ban suicide.

  11. . Says:

    Dilrook

    You may be happy with the present security arrangement, but majority of Sri Lankans are not happy at all. Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake,himself responding to a questions, recently said that the Army Intelligence Unit was not aware of the forewarning letter until the incident happened. In an another occasion an oversight by a Wellampitiya Police officer had led to release of nine major suspects on bail.
    Cardinal Ranjith had earlier been extremely sympathetic to the beleaguered government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe following the blasts which occurred in three churches and three posh hotels among other places killing 253 people.

    He had immediately appealed to his flock not to take the law into their own hands, be calm and cooperate with the government.

    Robert O. Blake says a glaring inadequacy in current public discussion or ‘discourse’ on the issues growing out of the Easter Sunday terror attacks is the almost lop-sided stress on short-term security measures as answers to these complex posers. Immediate security measures to protect the public are urgently needed and the Sri Lankan state is providing these requirements adequately but discussion on these questions needs to go well beyond this dimension in the country’s present affairs.

    But disappointed with the way the situation was developing in the past week, he told the media on Monday: “ I cannot see any measures being taken to find solutions to the issue of national security by those entrusted with the task. These politicians are once again playing their favorite blame game. As a result, the country and the people are continuing to suffer.”

  12. Dilrook Says:

    I’m not happy with the security arrangements since 2010. Who said I’m happy?

    1. We sold off the land of the army headquarters to a hotel chain where one bomb went off! Which country in the world sells their army headquarters after winning a war?

    2. Members of the sect recently banned did their first kill on July 26, 2009 in Beruwala. The threat was obvious but no action was taken.

    3. Bodu Bala Sena highlighted the threat since 2011 but no action was taken to eliminate the threat. Instead the matter was allowed to become race riots in 2014 Aluthgama, 2016 Gintota, 2018 Digana, etc.

    4. Settlements came up around Wilpattu and funds from the middle east since 2012 and no action was taken to stop it. A court case has been filed. DIsplaced Muslims from Jaffna were not resettled in Jaffna. They were settled around Wilpattu!

    5. Intel agencies were used to hunt down political opponents instead of terrorists. This worsened after 2015.

    6. Intel personnel were imprisoned. Some are on legitimate charges and they must be prosecuted. Others should be released.

    7. In the guise of war, we signed cross service defence deals with USA in 2007 and the extention in 2017. The parliament didn’t approve it in 2007. Not even the Cabinet approved it. This endangers China, India, Russia and mostly Sri Lanka. There are areas of co-operation with USA (e.g. intel), but the cross service agreement is not one of them.

    8. A controvercial university is being built in the east since 2013. Nothing was done until very recently to stop it. A very large number of extremist ideology imparting schools are in operation for at least a decade now. What is being done to stop it?

    9. A large number of weapons and persons are arrested. Obviously this has been going on for a very long time given the weapons and their distribution islandwide.

    But most suspects are not arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. As a result, the provisions of the Act do not apply to them and they must be released on bail. Is this the way to address the issue?

    10. Politicians in the midst of the controvercy didn’t land in parliament recently. They were introduced to parliament and given power over the years. What action was ever taken against them?

    11. There are allegations that someone paid 26 members of a now banned terrorist group. This must be investigated fully. Prevention of Terrorism Act applies retrospectively (emphasis) and UN Resolution 1373 also applies to the offenders. They must be investigated and prosecuted.

    The list goes on.

    You don’t need any special intel to avoid these! It is very well known but no action was taken.

    Take action first on known terror threats and potential threats. Don’t delay taking action on these saying intel development.

    Further developing intel is a must and it takes a long time (at least 2 years according to Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka) to develop it and more importantly de-politicise it.

    But there is no need not to take action on known threats. Technocrats are already working in all branches of the military and the police. There are enough leads already. Take action against them. Take action on known leads. Action first. That will automatically lead to more intel.

  13. Dilrook Says:

    Of the list above, in my opinion, #11 is the most dangerous as it violates the Prevention of Terrorism Act – applies retrospectively – , UN Security Council Resolution 1373 and Sri Lanka’s international commitments not to finance terror and extremism. If true, money paid may have gone into purchasing weapons, further indoctrination, etc., etc. There is no justification for it. Trying to whitewash it as a good thing is insane.

    This must be investigated as a matter of priority.

    Until it is investigated the PTA must not be repealed. The new bill does not have corresponding provisions.

    If found guilty, the persons behind may face life imprisonment and confiscation of property. They must be housed with other terrorists in prison as it is the norm.

  14. Randeniyage Says:

    @Dilrook,
    Regarding #11 Wimal yesterday said in the parliament now banned group was used for intelligence purposes and he approves it fully. If this group has been used against LTTE, they are Ranaviruwos and should not be banned.

  15. Dilrook Says:

    According to allegations they were used after the war ended, from 2011 onwards. And they did not reside in the north and the east. There is no evidence to say they were used against the LTTE.

    A spy cannot engage in illegal activity or be part of a group of illegal activity. He/she can only be pretended to be part of it. The law applies to all (except the EP).

    Even Karuna group was accepted after they detached from the LTTE, not before.

    Clandestine spy work is good but there cannot be regular and official payments for them. It can only be a payment for information. A buying-selling transaction.

    So I disagree with you and Wimal (if that’s what he meant). An investigation must be done into it.

    In my view, it is worse than giving weapons to the LTTE when we had peace with them (1987-1990). It violates the PTA, UNSC resolution 1373 and Sri Lanka’s international commitments against terrorism and extremism.

    India gave money to Tamil separatists but soon realized the grave mistake.

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