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Cablegate: Usaid/Sri Lanka Security Program Requirements for Fy 05 And

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

210333Z Apr 04

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 000676

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

FOR SEC/AD HARRY MANCHESTER

E.O. 12958
TAGS: NONE
SUBJECT: USAID/SRI LANKA SECURITY PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS FOR FY 05 AND
FY 06.


ENTIRE TEXT IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

REF: SECSTATE 58307 OF 3/16/04

THIS CABLE HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE USAID DIRECTOR AND
CLEARED BY THE RSO AND IMO.

A. OVERVIEW

1) THE USAID MISSION IN SRI LANKA HAS BEEN LOCATED ON THE
GROUND FLOOR OF A USG-OWNED BUILDING, THE AMERICAN CENTER,
AT #44 GALLE ROAD IN COLOMBO, SRI LANKA SINCE JANUARY 1999.
USAID, THEN IN A PHASE DOWN MODE, MOVED IN FOLLOWING
SECURITY ENHANCEMENT CONSTRUCTION. THE EXTERIOR FAADE AND
OTHER PARTS OF THE BUILDING CANNOT BE CHANGED BECAUSE OF
ITS HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE. THE INTERIOR WALLS OF THE
BUILDING HAVE BEEN RECONSTRUCTED TO PROVIDE 15 MINUTE
PROTECTION. AT PRESENT, THE BUILDING PROVIDES A MODERATE
LEVEL OF SAFETY AND SECURITY REQUIRED FOR THE THREAT LEVEL
IN COLOMBO, SRI LANKA. THE OCTOBER 2003 OIG INSPECTION OF
THE AMERICAN CENTER POINTED OUT A NUMBER OF PHYSICAL
SECURITY RECOMMENDATIONS, SUBJECT TO OBO FUNDS
AVAILABILITY.

2) FOLLOWING PEACE INITIATIVES IN 2002, USAID WROTE A NEW
STRATEGY WHICH WAS APPROVED IN THE FALL OF 2003. THE SIZE
OF BOTH THE PROGRAM AND THE STAFF WILL GROW. THERE ARE
CURRENTLY 39 APPROVED POSITIONS, 8 US (3 DH and 5 USPSC,
AND 31 FSN. AT THIS TIME, 28 OF THE POSITIONS ARE
ENCUMBERED. THE STAFF IS SQUEEZED INTO THE FULL FIRST FLOOR
OF THE AMERICAN CENTER.

3)WE RECENTLY REPORTED THAT, EVEN AFTER THE FALL 2003
RECONFIGERATION OF SPACE, THE OFFICE REMAINS WOEFULLY
INADEQUATE TO MEET OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS. FOLLOWING THE
APPROVAL OF THE PROGRAM STRATEGY LAST OCTOBER, USAID SOUGHT
APPROVAL TO SEEK COMMERCIAL OFFICES IN THE CITY. THIS
REQUEST WAS DENIED BY IG/SEC WHO ADVISED US TO REMAIN HERE
AND CONSIDER USING TRAILERS.

4) WE RULED OUT TRAILERS BECAUSE OF COSTS. ALTERNATIVELY, WE
PREFER TO CONSTRUCT A ONE OR TWO STOREY ANNEX HERE, IN THE
REAR OF THE AMERICAN CENTER. WE REQUEST APPROVAL FROM OMS,
OBO AND IG/SEC TO ENGAGE IN PRELIMINARY SURVEYS - INCLUDING
COSTING - OF THE OPTIONS. THE ONE STOREY OPTION CAN BE
ACCOMPLISHED FOR UNDER $100,000. HOWEVER, DURING A RECENT
TDY, DELHI EXO DENISE HERBOL, MADE A CONVINCING CASE FOR US
TO OPT FOR A TWO STOREY ANNEX. THIS DISCUSSION WAS INCLUDED
BECAUSE IF SUCH AN EXPANSION IS APPROVED, WE WILL NEED TO
GET IG/SEC AND OMS GUIDANCE ON HOW BEST TO FUND AND
"HARDEN" THE PROPOSED ANNEX WITH SECURITY DOORS/WINDOWS.

B. PHYSICAL SECURITY IN SRI LANKA

1) THE STREET AND RESIDENTIAL CRIME THREAT HERE IS CURRENTLY
RATED AS HIGH. THAT SAID, FOR EXPATRIATES, CRIME AND
VIOLENCE IS NOT A SERIOUS PROBLEM IN MOST AREAS OF THE CITY
DURING THE DAYLIGHT HOURS. EXPATRIATES ARE NOT SINGLED OUT
OVER SRI LANKANS AS TARGETS FOR STREET CRIME BUT THEY DO
REMAIN TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY REQUIRING THEM TO PRACTICE
SOUND PERSONAL AND RESIDENTIAL SECURITY PRACTICES. ALTHOUGH
THE CEASE-FIRE BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF SRI LANKA AND LTTE
CONTINUES TO HOLD, TRAVELERS ARE ADVISED TO EXERCISE
CAUTION WHEN WORKING IN AND NEAR GOVERNMENT FACILITIES AND
TO AVOID LARGE GATHERINGS WHICH COULD BECOME VIOLENT.
ALTHOUGH THE CEASE FIRE BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF SRI LANKA
AND THE LTTE HAS HELD FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS AND THERE HAVE
NOT BEEN ANY TERRORIST ATTACKS, TRAVELERS AND STAFF ARE
ADVISED TO BE WATCHFUL OF THEIR SURROUNDINGS BECAUSE OF THE
OUTSIDE POTENTIAL FOR A TERRORIST INCIDENT.

2) PETTY CRIME IS COMMON IN COLOMBO AND TRAVELERS ARE URGED TO
AVOID USING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OTHER THAN RADIO OR HOTEL
TAXIS. TRAVELERS ARE TOLD TO KEEP MONEY OR JEWELRY, WHEN
NOT IN IMMEDIATE USE, IN HOTEL SAFE DEPOSIT BOXES. RECENT
CASES OF CREDIT CARD FRAUD HAVE BEEN REPORTED. TRAVELERS
ARE ENCOURAGED TO EITHER PAY WITH CASH OR TO WATCH WHEN A
MERCHANT 'SWIPES' THE CARD FOR A TRANSACTION TO ENSURE IT
IS NOT SWIPED MORE THAN ONCE.

C. ARMORED VEHICLES

1) THERE ARE NO ARMORED VEHICLES IN THE USAID FLEET AND WE ARE
NOT PLANNING TO CHANGE THIS IN FY-05 AND FY-06.

D. USAID COMMUNICATIONS

1) ALL U.S. STAFF HAVE BEEN ISSUED MOTOROLA HANDHELD RADIOS
PROVIDED TO US BY THE EMBASSY/IMO. WE WILL NEED TO PURCHASE
THREE MORE IN FY-05 AND TWO IN FY-06, TO BE SURE THAT ALL
U.S. STAFF AT THE POST PARTICIPATE IN THE EMBASSY'S E&E
NETWORK. ALSO, WE WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR TECHNICAL ADVICE ON
PURCHASING RADIOS FOR VEHICLES ON LONG DISTANCE FIELD
TRAVEL TO INCLUDE POSSIBLE MOBILE HF RADIOS.

E. SECURITY INVESTIGATIONS
1) BASED UPON PROJECTED NEEDS AND TURNOVER OF LONG TERM US
PSCS, WE ANTICIPATE REQUESTING NO MORE THAN TWO SUCH
SECURITY CHECKS PER YEAR IN FY-05 AND FY-06. WE WILL ALSO
REQUIRE AN EXTIMATED NINE (9) LOCAL SECURITY
CHECKS/INVESTIGATIONS FOR FSN NEW HIRES IN FY-04 AND FY-05
AND SIX(6) FSN RECERTIFICATION INVESTIGATIONS IN FY-05/06.

F. RESIDENTIAL SECURITY

1) FULL SECURITY UPGRADES FOR RESIDENTIAL HOUSES IN SRI
LANKA COSTS AN ESTIMATED $4,000 TO $5,000 PER UNIT, AND
INCLUDES DOORS, LOCKS, WINDOW GRILLES, WINDOW FILM AND
ALARMS.

LUNSTEAD

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