European Commission steps up counter-terrorism, extremism prevention support to Sri Lanka

European Commission headquarters in Brussels

The European Commission, through its Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, has allocated 8.5 million euros to support Sri Lankan efforts to prevent violent extremism, build community resilience, and promote peace and tolerance.

In a statement, the European Commission today said the amount would also contribute to the ongoing peace-building process through internally displaced persons and refugees being able to return to their land.

“This allocation comes after High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini’s meeting earlier this month with the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, where she underlined the EU’s readiness to support Sri Lanka in the face of the challenges of terrorism and violent extremism,” it said.

The €8.5 million Commission support will follow a three-pronged approach: It will support Sri Lankan policymakers, competent authorities and the security and judicial branches in their mission to prevent and respond to terrorist threats and attacks in a human rights compliant manner; it will focus on the prevention of violent extremism and will support relevant local stakeholders to develop and disseminate positive awareness-raising campaigns, notably via partnerships with global social media actors; and it will contribute to the last stages of de-mining in three districts in the north and focus on peace-building to reinforce national cohesion and reconciliation.

The Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka killed over 258 people and injured many others.“Preventing and responding to terrorist attacks like this is an additional challenge for Sri Lanka along with numerous other challenges in transitioning to durable peace after many years of conflict, such as refugees, internally displaced persons and land identified as potentially infested with mines and explosive remnants,” the EC statement said.

(Government News Portal)