A Director of Operations at Ineqe Group Ltd., a Belfast-based Security Agency and a Non Executive Director of the same security outfit, which has project links to British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the British International Development Ministry, were seconded from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and deployed to Sri Lanka by the FCO to act as “critical friends” to the Sri Lankan Police and to provide “hands-on assistance” during the final phase of the war, Corporate Watch has discovered through a Freedom of Information request to the PSNI, news reports in UK said on Tuesday.
“It has now emerged UK police training in Sri Lanka continued even during the bloodiest months of the war,” said Belfast Telegraph, on the latest revelation by the Corporate Watch.
The Director of Operations at the Inege Group, Mr Gary White, and Non Executive Director Mr Duncan McCausland were the ‘Critical Friends’ who were ordered to assist the Sri Lankan Police.
The Corporate Watch, which recently revealed how 3,500 SL police officers – including some senior commanders – received training from the Scottish Police College since 2007, releasing the latest report on the Ineqe assistance, also said that the British police has been secretly advising the Sri Lankan forces since the Thatcher era.
Some excerpts from the Corporate Watch report follow:
“Training police abroad is nothing new for the pair. Prior to joining Ineqe, they travelled to Bangladesh, Bolivia, Georgia, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Venezuela, according to their CVs – accessible online for any prospective customers to browse. But what on earth were they doing in all these exotic locations? That is less well advertised. In Bolivia, White ran public order courses for the Police and Military, while posing for the camera with some bicycle cops. But it is their work in Sri Lanka that warrants closer scrutiny, as the Belfast Telegraph partially revealed this morning.
“In February 2009, Sri Lanka was an island at war. After nearly three decades of conflict, the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels were being cornered by government forces, in what has become known as the ‘killing fields’. 300,000 ethnic Tamil civilians fled the fighting, only to be rounded up and ‘screened’ for militant sympathies in squalid barbed-wire internment camps. By August 2009, Amnesty International warned that this system of indefinite and arbitrary detention included some 50,000 children.
“It may come as a surprise, then, that this was precisely the six-month period when White and McCausland were seconded from the PSNI and deployed to Sri Lanka by the FCO. The pair were ordered “to act as a ‘critical friend’ to the Sri Lankan Police” and provide “hands-on assistance”, Corporate Watch has discovered through a Freedom of Information request to the PSNI. The itinerary for their first visit included “high level meetings with [the] Inspector General of Police” (IGP), Sri Lanka’s top cop Jayantha Wickramaratne, who incidentally had himself trained in Scotland and Northern Ireland during 2007. As IGP, Wickramaratne was part of the ‘Task Force’ responsible for the administration of the internment camps.”