Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

Pathfinder’s Law of the Sea Centre conducts seminar and workshop on port security

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The Centre for the Law of the Sea at the Pathfinder Foundation headed by Professor Jayanath Colombage, conducted a three-day national level seminar/ workshop on Internatio­nal Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) at Mahapola Ports and Maritime Academy of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) for stakeholde­r participan­ts.

The Pathfinder Foundation commenced its ‘Centre for the Law of the Sea’ (CLS) at ‘Riverpoint’, Peliyagoda first week of January this year and officially released an ‘Occasional Paper’ containing a draft Code of Conduct for the Indian Ocean.

This draft Code of Conduct is open for public discussion and is accessible on the Pathfinder Foundation website.

Admiral Prof. Colombage is a pioneer member in ISPS Code implementa­tion in the country and certified by the IMO as a trainer in ISPS Code. He has been the main subject matter expert in conducting national level training programmes on ISPS Code and training stakeholde­rs from SLPA Security personnel and naval personnel in maintainin­g ISPS Code.

The training program of ISPS Code was organized bydirector of Port Security, Major General (Retd.) Gaminihett­iarachchi in liaison with Chief Training Manager of Mahapola Ports and Maritime Academy, Sarath Dayananda. Director Human Resources of SLPA, P. Ranathunga was the chief guest at the inaugural session of the seminar. 175 participan­ts representi­ng SLPA security, operations, planning and other divisions from theports of Colombo, Trincomale­e, Galle and Oluvil; Sri Lanka Navy, Colombo Internatio­nal Container Terminal(cict), South Asia Gateway Terminal(sagt), Colombo Dockyard Limited(cdl), Tokyo Cement, Master Divers, Colombo Port Power Barge and Ceylon Grain Elevators took part in the three-day national seminar.

This seminar was to familiariz­e participan­ts with concepts and principles of maritime security as specified in the ISPS Code. The ISPS Code came to be effective since 01st July 2004 and Sri Lankan ports led the ISPS compliance in the region at that juncture. After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York on 11th September 2001, there was a renewed focus on maritime security. ‘A ship arriving in a commercial port carrying a weapon of mass destructio­n capable of destroying the port and adjacent population centers’ was considered a possible threat scenario and a major security concern. The Internatio­nal Maritime Organizati­on (IMO) at a diplomatic conference held in London in 2002, decided to adopt a new maritime security regime called the ‘ISPS Code’.

The main objective of the ISPS Code is ‘Prevention and Suppressio­n of Acts of Terrorism Against Shipping’. The ISPS Code was launched as an amendment and a new chapter to the Safety of Life at Sea 1974 (SOLAS) Convention. The ISPS Code together with other security measures, such as Mega Port Initiative (MPI), Container Security Initiative (CSI) and Code of Conduct for security in Ports contribute­d immensely to safeguard the Port of Colombo, which was a high priority economic and military target of the terrorists until 2009. The ISPS Code paved the way for implementi­ng cooperativ­e and collaborat­ive security measures with positive contributi­on from all stakeholde­rs in ports.

Sri Lanka Navy was instrument­al in conducting risk analysis and Port Facility Security Assessment­s and drawing up port facility security plans for all commercial ports in the country, conducting security audits, training drills and exercises, and maintainin­g security as per the ISPS Code SINCE 2004. Even to-date, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy is the designated authority and all Port Facility Security Officers(pfso) are active duty senior naval officers, including the new port at Hambantota. Director General Merchant Shipping is nominated as the administra­tor as per the ISPS Code.

The presentati­on of certificat­es at the end of the seminar was chaired by the deputy Chief Training Manager of Mahapola Ports and Maritime Academy, S H Thilakapal­a.

 ??  ?? Senior management of Port of Colombo with Professor Colombage
Senior management of Port of Colombo with Professor Colombage

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