US-Sri Lanka to jointly strengthen Colombo port security

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 July 2004, 14:41 GMT]
The United States (US) and the Sri Lanka will soon enter discussions regarding the island’s participation in ‘Mega Ports,’ a US Department of Energy (DOE) initiative to curb the illicit movement of radioactive materials worldwide. Representatives from DOE’s ‘Mega Ports’ initiative will visit Colombo to discuss the program with Sri Lankan officials, said the US embassy press release issued Friday.

The press release follows: -

Through ‘Mega Ports,’ DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will co-operate with large seaports worldwide to detect the illicit movement of radioactive materials. These ports provide opportunities for nuclear smugglers and terrorists to use shipping networks for illicit purposes. They also provide law enforcement officials with an opportunity tp pre-screen most of the cargo that enters the world trade system for weapons of mass destruction, and for nuclear and other radioactive materials.

Speaking of ‘Mega Ports,’ US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said: “We must address the threat of terrorist groups and rogue nations trying to smuggle deadly radioactive ingredients that could be used in dirty bombs… This program is designed to send a clear message to terrorists and other would-be smugglers. There will be no safe-havens for the illegal smuggling of radioactive material.”

NNSA is currently implementing the ‘Mega Ports’ Initiative in the Netherlands and Greece. In addition, representatives from NNSA are in conversation with officials from government throughout Asia, Europe, and Latin America, the press release concluded.

 

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