Avant Garde issue: 150 foreign vessels turn down security from Sri Lanka?
November 14, 2015 04:59 pm
Around 150 foreign ships which had previously employed the services of Avant Garde Security Services have now informed the company that they would no longer seek protection from Sri Lanka as a result of the controversy surrounding establishment, an official said.
Manager of Commercial Vessel Protection, Lt Col (retd) Nilantha Jayaweera, stated that the firearms which were in the possession of Avant Garde have been obtained by the Southern Naval Command and that security can no longer be provided to the foreign vessels which were protected using those firearms.
He added that the voyages of 6 commercial vessels were delayed this morning due to the abrupt suspension of security services and that they were also unable to provide security to 2 fishing vessels in international waters.
The offices of the company which were operational in 5 countries have currently been closed down and that staff instructed to return to Sri Lanka, Jayaweera said.
However, responding to a query by Ada Derana, the Ministry of Defence refuted the claims that with the task of providing maritime security being handed over to the Sri Lanka Navy, the commercial vessels are stranded in international waters due to being unable to travel without protection.
Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said that around 37 vessels were provided security within yesterday alone and that the navy is handling the affairs of providing maritime security without any problems.
The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) yesterday took possession of the firearms which were in the possession of Avant Garde Security Services (Pvt) Ltd.