The Australian and Sri Lankan Governments have once again partnered to enhance regional border security, today opening the Sri Lankan Border Risk Assessment Centre (BRAC) at the Department of Immigration and Emigration, near Colombo.
The BRAC is a new intelligence facility directly under the Ministry of Defence which will allow Sri Lankan agencies to share their collective intelligence, systems, resources, and real-time data to facilitate lawful travel and trade while detecting and responding to unlawful activity.
Australian Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said the opening of the BRAC was another significant milestone in the Australia-Sri Lanka relationship, with the centre forming one component of the two countries’ Integrated Border Management project, which Australia has supported with more than $5 million in funding.
“The BRAC is just the latest example of the collaborative approach Australia and Sri Lanka have taken to combatting regional crime and facilitating legitimate trade and travel,” Minister Andrews said.
“We are also proud to have worked with Sri Lanka to support the installation of Vessel Tracking and Monitoring Solution transponders on more than 4500 multi-day fishing vessels, as well as assisting in the establishment of a land-based monitoring centre that enhances Sri Lanka’s maritime domain awareness and surveillance capability.
“I thank the Sri Lankan Navy and Coast Guard for their tireless work in combating maritime crime, including illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in the region, as well as other transnational crime including maritime people smuggling.”
Minister of Irrigation, State Minister of Home Affairs and State Minister of National Security and Disaster Management, Chamal Rajapaksa, stated that “the BRAC will significantly strengthen Sri Lanka’s border against illicit migrants, criminals, smugglers, and terrorists, while also streamlining the entry and exit of legitimate business persons, travellers, and tourists – all of whom are vital to national and regional economic recovery as we emerge from the pandemic.”