EU offers Sri Lanka support for counter terrorism initiative

The European Union (EU) has offered Sri Lanka support for its counter terrorism initiative during talks held between the Sri Lankan government and visiting EU officials, a statement by the EU delegation in Sri Lanka said on Monday.

The statement said during an informal counterterrorism dialogue held in Colombo between the visiting EU Counterterrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, European External Action Service (EEAS) Head of Division for Counterterrorism John Gatt-Rutter and Sri Lanka’s Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ahmed A. Jawad, the EU presented a support package for Sri Lanka under the instrument contributing to stability and peace, to be implemented with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and United Nations Development Program.

The package worth 8.5 million euros (9.58 million U.S. dollars) will notably focus on law enforcement, rehabilitation and disengagement, counter-narratives, and online radicalization, the statement said.

During discussions, Kerchove underlined the EU’s solidarity with Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks which killed over 250 people. Common challenges relating to violent extremism and terrorism were also discussed and experience regarding responses was shared.