Support to Sri Lanka on Counter-Terrorism


PROJECT DURATION : 1 January 2020 – 30 June 2021



LOCATION: Sri Lanka                      




The overall objective of the project is to build institutional capacity building to effectively prevent/detect, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate terrorism cases in Sri Lanka, in line with the relevant international legal instruments and human rights norms, standards and good practices. The project also seeks to support the Government of Sri Lanka in preventing and countering the proliferation of violent extremism in prison settings. 

The specific objectives are divided into four components:

  • Developing and strengthening law enforcement capabilities to prevent and disrupt terrorism and/or terrorist-related activities. This component is implemented by INTERPOL.
  • Supporting the Government of Sri Lanka in developing a comprehensive policy and legislative framework for counter-terrorism. This component is implemented by UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB).
  • Strengthening littoral border control capacity of law enforcement agencies in Sri Lanka. This component is implemented by UNODC’s Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP).
  • Enhancing dynamic, procedural and physical security in selected prison facilities and implementing a classification system for prisoners introduced. This component is also implemented by UNODC’s Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP).



Using a multi-faceted approach for achieving sustainability of results and impact of its interventions, UNODC and INTERPOL will achieve the objectives stated above through the following activities:


Component 1: Enhancing law enforcement capacity.

INTERPOL seeks to strengthen the capacity of the Government of Sri Lanka by:

  • Strengthening law enforcement capacity to ensure terrorism and violent extremism-related criminal cases, in particular FTFs, are properly investigated, taking into account proper collection and evaluation of evidence, including electronic evidence in an effective, fair and efficient manner in conformity with the fundamental principles of the rule of law and human rights.
  • Enhancing domestic intelligence coordination and operational capabilities in Sri Lanka by conducting training sessions on intelligence analysis for CT operational purposes, as well as coordinating border management and intelligence-led transnational operations to identify and prosecute CT-related offenses.


Component 2: Improving criminal justice on CT.

TPB enhance the capacity of criminal justice actors to ensure effective implementation of policy and legislative framework for CT by:

  • Reviewing legislative counter-terrorism framework, including provisions on foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) and returning FTFs (RFTFs) and raising awareness of the importance to align it with international human rights standards and to adopt laws and procedures regulating, inter alia, interviewing, crime scene investigation and the collection, preservation, analysis, utilization and sharing of evidence.
  • Supporting the Government to develop national policy and legislative provisions to counter the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes, in full respect of fundamental freedoms and in compliance with the rule of law.
  • Supporting the development and implementation of CFT policies and legislation that meet the requirements of related international instruments and standards, through the organization of national-level activities.
  • Providing advisory support to Sri Lanka on reviewing and, if necessary, revising its National AML/CFT Risk Assessment (NRA). The results of the review will be available to inform related policy and legislative changes and capacity building assistance delivered within the project.
  • Developing institutional and technical capacity and expertise of criminal justice officials to respond to terrorist use of the Internet and for adequate evidence handling, particularly that of an electronic nature.
  • Strengthen the capacity of national institutions and officials with responsibilities for the detection, investigation, prosecution and adjudication of CFT-related offences, and for executive or judicially-based actions related to the freezing, seizure or confiscation of suspected terrorist assets.
  • Providing mentoring and advisory support and group training exercises, focused on providing responsible CFT officials with the skills necessary to apply national CFT policies and laws to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate terrorist financing activities in an operational setting.
  • Enhancing domestic interagency cooperation and information sharing in counter-terrorism matters.
  • Enhancing regional cooperation in counter-terrorism by promoting and supporting the establishment of a regional centre for international cooperation in terrorist cases for South Asia.
  • Improving the knowledge, skills and capacities of criminal justice actors and the Central Authority, in engaging in international cooperation involving electronic evidence, including gathering electronic evidence from SPs.
  • Promoting and supporting legislation and mechanisms for strengthened whole of government, public-private, and international cooperation in the detection, disruption, investigation and prosecution of criminal offences related to the financing of terrorism.


Component 3: Developing border control capacity.

GMCP will strengthen littoral border control by developing the capability of relevant law enforcement agencies on detection of explosives and IED components.


Component 4: Enhancing security in prisons.

GMCP will improve dynamic, procedural and physical security in selected prison facilities by:

  • Identifying prison facilities for the provision of P/CVE-related activities to prevent radicalisation to violence in prisons.
  • Strengthening the capacity of frontline prison officers to ensure dynamic, procedural and physical security in prison settings.
  • Training prison officers in and using refined classification tool to prevent radicalisation to violence in prisons.
  • Providing VEPs with access to vocational training and rehabilitation according to their classification and sentence plan.



Periodical updates on key project events and news highlights are available on the following UNODC websites:

  • Global Maritime Crime Programme here;
  • Terrorism Prevention Branch website here;



Mr. Troels Vester

Senior Programme Manager

UNODC Programme Office in Sri Lanka