Wednesday, August 22, 2012 -
1:13:00 AM -
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In a rather despicable turn of events it seems that the government of Sri Lanka is forcing private maritime security companies to “hire” weapons from its own agents, rather than allowing them to use their own legally purchased ones.
Port authorities are seemingly refusing to recognise UK licences, forcing firms to hire weapons from a local offshore armoury or face a ban on operating.
Aside from the moral angle, the move is forcing PMSCs to breach the IMO rules, as using third-party weapons breaks all the regulations and licences in force.
Governments want vessels to be protected, but moves such as this simply serve to rip up the hard work being done in the UK to develop a security solution to keep seafarers safe from pirates.
It is understood that the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office is now pressing hard for a solution and that SAMI is working too, to secure a deal which will hopefully force the Sri Lankan government into a climb down.
Comment: Most probably, UK Foreign Office jointly with SAMI will try to solve the problem in a way which will best suit SAMI interests, or to be more exact, interests of UK security agencies. They’ll try to persuade Sri Lanka to permit the arms owned by agencies only to those agencies which are SAMI members, the rest to be left at the mercy of Sri Lanka authorities.