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The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.

Challenges: While Sri Lanka emerged in 2008 from decades of protracted and bloody internal conflict, the rebuilding process continues.  The government has achieved territorial control,  but continues to struggle with lack of institutional capacities, political support for criminal justice reform, and vulnerabilities to external threats such as increased narcotic trafficking in the Indian Ocean and terrorist attacks.

Goals: INL seeks to strengthen the rule of law in Sri Lanka by improving the performance of the criminal justice system to address criminal activities and deliver fair and equitable justice services to citizens. INL’s efforts have primarily focused on justice sector reform, but in recent years expanded to provide technical assistance for law enforcement to increase professionalism, transparency, and coordination and efficiency among law enforcement and justice sector organizations. Through specialized training and support for operational reform, INL is working to build the Government of Sri Lanka’s capacity to investigate and prosecute complex crimes like corruption, trafficking, financial crimes, and organized crime.

Accomplishments:  INL-supported capacity building has aided the investigation of key financial crimes cases and has introduced U.S. and international best practices to strengthen criminal justice functions. 

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future