The cumulative result of private security activities contribute to the overall security of the state but some of the top private security agencies are run with political backing and thus may not be legally licensed, according to a presentation made at a seminar on security issues earlier this week.
Such agencies, it was revealed, may also ignore labour laws and sometimes even hire personnel who are deserters from the armed forces or have criminal backgrounds. Some even recruit immature and uneducated persons with minimal training, according to the keynote address by the Founder President of the Industrial Security Foundation (ISF), Edward Gunawardane, at the opening day of the organization’s 2-day seminar and exhibition themed "Security in the era of Terrorism".
Starting from Monday, October 20, at the Galle Face Hotel, the event featured a number of notable presentations, including: Deputy Solicitor General, Yasantha Kodagoda, on the ‘Legal Aspects of Electronic Frauds’; retired DIG. Mithra Ariyasinghe on ‘Modern Techniques in Personal Protection’; Director of the Information Communications Technology Agency (ICTA), Jayantha Fernando, on ‘Cyber Security’; DIG Asoka Wijetilleke, on ‘Investigation of Credit Card Frauds’, Frank Dharmaraja on the ‘Security Function in the Hospitality Trade’, Wg. Commander Tony Dirckze on ‘Modern Trends in Fire Fighting’, Capt. Nihal Gunawardena on ‘Threats to Aviation from Terrorism’; Rear Admiral Terrance Sundaram on ‘Maritime Security’; as well as contributions by Strategic Affairs Advisor to the Ministry of Defence, Dr. Sanjaya Kolonne, Director of the Peace Secretariat, Mr. Rohantha Athukorala, and Dr. Sivaji Felix.
According to the ISF newsletter, “… the personnel of security departments in state and private organizations together with the personnel of private security agencies comprise a formidable percentage of the national work force. Over 70,000 are employed by 250 registered security providing agencies and it is presumed that the large number of unregistered agencies employ as many persons as possible.”