The Avant Garde Maritime Security Services today said Sri Lanka had lost credibility in the eyes of global shipping agents due to its handling of affairs related to the current controversy surrounding the maritime security firm.
Manager – Commercial Protection at Avant Garde Nilantha Jayaweera said over 150 foreign ships which earlier used the services of the company had informed that they will no longer seek such services from Sri Lanka.
According to Jayaweera, Avant Garde over the years had built a reputation among global shipping agents as an organization which specialized in delivering state-of-the-art physical security for shipping companies operating in high risk areas around the Indian Ocean.
He said that foreign shipping agents say that such reputation cannot be garnered by another party in a short span of time.
Commenting on the controversy Jayaweera said that already around 4000 people including himself had lost jobs due to the relevant services being handed back to the Navy.
In addition the Avant Garde has closed its offices in five foreign countries.
Contrary to claims by a number of individuals including government ministers Jayaweera stated that the firm had done nothing illegal and weapons contained in the floating armories were ones sanctioned by the government.
Jayaweera also said that the company will soon convene a media briefing to tell their side of the story.
Meanwhile the Navy is currently in the process of reclaiming weapons found in the floating armories belonging to Avant Garde.
On November 11, President Maithripala Sirisena ordered to hand over the operations of the controversial Avant Garde Maritime Security Services to the Sri Lanka Navy.
The private security firm’s operations came under scrutiny when the container-carrying vessel “Mahanuwara” docked at the Galle Harbor with a haul of arms on January 18. Avant-Garde Security services which, according to the firm, provides security to ships against the Somali pirates.
Following the docking of a second floating armory, Avant Garde carrying a haul of unauthorized weapons in Galle Harbor on October 5th, the investigations into the firm’s activities intensified.
Pot Shot / November 15, 2015
As a person who supported MS & the RW regime because I wanted change from all the corruption, murders, robbery and thuggery I fail to understand that after almost a year none can be prosecuted for whatever reason. Have we been bluffed into believing false stories by the UNP or is in just sheer inefficiency on the part of the new government. I think it is the latter.
If there is an election called today the UNP will lose hands down for all their failures in restoring good governance that the people yearn for.
To hell with you UNP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ben Hurling / November 15, 2015
Whole investigation is utterly mismanaged by the corrupt Sri Lankan state. Its corrupt minsters and officials.
Procedure should have been professional, impartial & transparent. It would have earned confidence of the people. We could have driven Gota into a corner of shame.
We could have achieved all of the following:
1. Prosecuted both Gota and Avant Garde “Lokka”
2. Taken over Avant Garde operations in an organized way. Without disrupting its’ client base, employees or skills pool.
3. Sri Lanka could have been a leader in ethical, law-abiding, professional maritime security services to a global market palce. A massive exchange earner for cash-strapped SL. Giving serious competition to such firms from South Africa, Israel or USA.
Alas! It was not to be.
This country is run by a back-stabbing, ever so bickering, childish, mafia like thieves. In the Cabinet itself and elsewhere. From both the SLFP & UNP. Who think the country is a private property to be disbursed among their cronies and henchmen.
To rescue Sri Lanka we still have a long way to go.
mj / November 15, 2015
If Mr Nilanth jayaweer says 150 company had cancel the business, that means ..they can do with out Avant gurd. .
S.Modaya / November 17, 2015
Cleaning up corruption is a good thing so there is long term reputation gain with cleaning up Avant Guard.
Ordinary Lankan / November 15, 2015
What damn “Credibility” Avant Garde is talking about ?
They had Black money even to change a govt;
it’s a threat to Sri Lanka , not only Maldives,
Now Thank God, at least that threat is gone
Sinhala_Man / November 16, 2015
I know that Economics is important; we do need money.
However,I mean this seriously; I’d rather we became penurious than earn money by enjoying your type of “credibility”. Surely it is more moral even to be a beggar than earn through being international gun running.
I am old. I must die soon, come what may. I believe in no after-life. I would still prefer to die an honest man!
Ajith / November 15, 2015
It is an impossible mission to conduct a proper unbiased investigation in Sri Lanka. Not only our politics and politicians are fully corrupted but also our professionals including judges are politically and racially corrupted. We changed the Govt but we didn’t change the systems and those corrupted practices. The same individuals are running the show. They are powerful and people can be easily manipulated with a few heroic patriotic speeches. People do not have many choices. They have to either choose a ghost or a monster.
sach / November 16, 2015
what an idiot this ben fellow is? Seriously I am not kidding..you are an IDIOT of highest order..
The investigations did not reveal any mismanagement…if it did, UNP gover would have used it to point at MR at a time they are desperately looking for options..
Avangard is a legal and a professional body run by professional people. Actually it is the leading maritime security provider in the indian ocean…It has a big client base and even brings a lot of foreign exchange..
Fools like you deserve a fool like MY3.
Ben Hurling / November 16, 2015
“The investigations did not reveal any mismanagement…”
Whom do you admire? Dealdasa or Marapana?
sach / November 17, 2015
I admire what is good for SL….why did he become dealdasa? becasue he didnt tell what you wanted to hear, right? doesnt matter whether it is true or not
sarojini / November 16, 2015
Thanks Sach . You said it all . However let us hope they have the brains to comprehend what you said .
Native Vedda / November 16, 2015
“However let us hope they have the brains to comprehend what you said .”
What did scahoooooooooo say that one needs brains to comprehend?
Is it neuroscience? Is it rocket science? Is it metaphysics? Is it nano-technology? Is it artificial intelligence? Is it rational choices of firms and individuals? Is it about business cycles and financial crises or indeed expectations? Is it about deep insight inquiry into the true nature of life?
mj / November 15, 2015
If 2000 SL Army deserter are in the Avant gurd ..then it is an illegal business. .it is illegal to pay an salary from public funds. .
Ram / November 15, 2015
Is is NOT a private company ?
Mahendra / November 15, 2015
You are not alone Pot shot, it is so frustrating. Is the whole system so dysfunctional that nothing can be achieved?
Amarasiri / November 15, 2015
Manager – Commercial Protection at Avant Garde Nilantha Jayaweera .
RE: Sri Lanka Losing Credibility: Avant Garde
“Commenting on the controversy Jayaweera said that already around 4000 people including himself had lost jobs due to the relevant services being handed back to the Navy.”
Funny. So, these jobs are now gained by the Navy.
Doesn’t the SL Navy that defeated the LTTE have better credibility than Avent Garde?
Navy Heads, get a good good marketing Firm and sell yourself. Say why you are better than Avent Garde and the crooks who were running that Firm.
Getafix / November 16, 2015
How could it be concluded that the Navy has got the contract? They seem to be only taking over the so called ‘illegal’ weapons. It is probably not within the Navy’s ‘mission’ to provide on-board security to private vessels.
pinto / November 16, 2015
SL navy’s involment in fighting Somali pirates is like sending our navy to sort out Syria to earn some foreign exchange for the country.
There are things that a defence forces of a country can do and cannot do. They cannot act as mercenaries working for a fee. Look at US hiring Halberton private security to do all the dirty work in Iraq for the same reason. SL navy is advised to keep out of offering private security to non-nationals otherwise they too would be acting as mercenaries too
sarojini / May 11, 2017
The navy did not gain any jobs,the navy personnel recruited were all employed by the navy.
sumith / November 16, 2015
NATO & UN created CTF 151 to handle Somali pirates.
Neither Sri Lanka nor Avant Guarde is part of this operations.
Why do Avante Guarde claim that they doing anti-pirate protection against sea pirates? These are lies. cover ups.
“Counter-piracy operations – Combined Task Force 151
The CTF 151 was established on 12 January 2009 as a response to piracy attacks in Somalia, ‘with a specific piracy mission-based mandate under the authority of UNSCRs 1816, 1838, 1846, 1851 and 1897’
The Combined Task Force 151 or CTF-151 or Combined Task Force One Five One is a multinational naval task force, set up in 2009 as a response to piracy attacks in the Gulf of Aden and off the eastern coast of Somalia. Its mission is to disrupt piracy and armed robbery at sea and to engage with regional and other partners to build capacity and improve relevant capabilities in order to protect global maritime commerce and secure freedom of navigation. It operates in conjunction with the EU’s Operation Atalanta and NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield.
As of September 2013 the task force consists of six ships from Australia, Pakistan, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, and the USA under the command of Commodore Jeremy Blunden RN based on RFA Fort Victoria. Pirate attacks in the area have declined from ‘over 170’ in 2010 to ‘a handful’ in 2013.”
justice / November 15, 2015
What happened to the illegal weapons with identification marks erased, mentioned in earlier reports, to have been seized?
This fact now appears to be now slowly being swept ‘under the carpet’.
Where are they now?
This made the whole project illegal, and the management, a criminal enterprise.
Such weapons are supplied to/purchased by, only terrorists like ISIS and dissident groups in many countries.
Nilantha Jayaweera must explain.
Off The Wall / November 15, 2015
Why was the whole thing kept a secret from the public until the new government decided to investigate? Even if it is profitable, you cannot break the rules. It is better the navy takes over since government weapons are involved and international terrorism is on the rise again.
Jagath Fernando / November 15, 2015
Ranil is aware that he has done very little for 11 months and this is his last chance.
He managed to scrape through at the elections with the support of the current President and all minority votes. UNP has no chance at a future election on their own.
Hope Ranil can deliver in the next 4 years. The first 11 months has been a disaster!!!
The only thing they have done well is to record 7,500 statements at FCID. Every company chairman, high ranking govt officials and opposition politicians have been called up. Take my word – nothing will happen !!!
bo / November 15, 2015
Nothing will happen…… that I agree with. RW’s file is with MR including the private meeting notes of the discussion at the dawn of 9th Jan 15 at the TT, and he has no way of recovering it.
thrishu / November 15, 2015
Oh dear….. poor old AvGrd!!! Losing credibility as an efficient gun runners? Good!
Crazyoldmansl / November 15, 2015
I sniff gun running and drug smuggling in the guise of fighting pirates. Some of the gun running may have even involved the pirates. Some of the pirates – like the grease yakkas – may have even been manufactured to drum up business. This is quite apart from the question of the creation of an armed force outside the military chain of command of the state. A force that could at any moment have been used against the state itself or against a government local or foreign. Let Avant Garde come forward and explain and let the truth be known.
EDWIN RODRIGO / November 15, 2015
Gun Running and drug trafficking go hand in hand. We can do without both. The future of our children is more important. Our people survived for 1000’s of years without Avant Garde or their friends. And I am sure we can manage without them in the future too. Thank you very much.
Shrikharan / November 15, 2015
“Avant Garde over the years had built a reputation among global shipping agents…”
Then why did the captain of the ship falsely declare they had only three firearms for their protection allowed for any ship?
Avant Garde’s argument collapses on this false statement.
Barathan / November 15, 2015
In recent times comments on web sites, all media and most strikingly in Colombo Telegraph have become more perceptive,responsible,combative and uncompromising.
Those placed in the dock including governmental institutions must abandon ideas of easy escape.
EDWIN RODRIGO / November 15, 2015
“Sri Lanka had lost credibility in the eyes of global shipping agents”.
What is more important?
Credibility in the eyes of these agents or credibility in the eyes of the people of Sri Lanka?
Gamarala / November 16, 2015
Sri Lanka lost credibility internationally at least a decade earlier. No body could even speak about that fact during that era.
Entering into an agreement by GOSL with a newly formed company to provide maritime security an unsolicited proposal and allow a monopoly to this group of friends of the ruling party politicians is one such example.
Barus / November 16, 2015
What credibility has Sri Lanka lost due to the closure of Avant Garde? We have lost our credibility 15 years ago.
This was evident very much when any Sri Lankan goes abroad and faces an Immigration Officer of any country, including Maldives.
Our passport lost it value and no country wishes to issues our citizens a visa even after providing genuine valid supporting documents.
Our politicians have issued DIPLOMATIC passports to all their uneducated and undeserving cronies and thugs to ensure smooth passage out of the country after they finished their nefarious activities in the country.
What a shame !!! Poor innocent Sri Lanka are facing the brunt of this nasty act.
Now Avant Garde talks of Credibility ???? We never had it for the past 20 years to lose it now.
A sad reminder to ALL the corrupt people who contributed to this sad state of affairs.
EDWIN RODRIGO / November 16, 2015
JVP says many politicians are guarding Avant Garde. It appears to be true but the guarding appears to be more than we think.
These politicians are being guarded by top Ministers. The Ministers are in turn being guarded by the Prime Minister. PM is being guarded by the top brass of the Armed forces. Ansd so on it goes. Everyone guarding the anus of someone else.
Except for the proletariat like us. Our anuses get attacked by all those guardians on a daily basis and there seems to be no way to stop that.
NAK / November 16, 2015
There are a lot here who are talking loads of rubbish without really understanding what they are talking about.
Can our Navy personnel be placed under the command of a captain of a merchant ship? That is exactly what will happen if our Navy under takes to provide on board security to merchant vessels. If and when a navy personnel is killed in a fire fight with pirates who’s responsibility will it be.
Credibility of an organization is directly related to its providence of reliable quality services to its customers.
SL navy previously withdrew from this service due to difficult situations it created.Then avant garde too was in the business and GR saw the oppotunity and created Rakna lanka and merged it with Avant Garde. Avant garde brought in the business and dealt with shipping agents while Rakna lanka provided the services,The Navy took responsibility of the weapons while on shore.
The International maritime organization requested GoSL to facilitate to provide this service.
Ram / November 16, 2015
What was an allegation, that there were others eyeing the profitable business now has legs. Dismantling a profitable business bringing in foreign currency, out of jealousy is reprehensible.
roger / November 16, 2015
Avant gared issue is a complex one what Marapana say may be the truth. There are so many greedy people in the Yahapalanaya including the President. We will have to wait and see who takes over the business. Probably President is using Rajitha and them to tarnish AG and at the end they will be left high and dry and Presidents catchers will takeover AG. I will not be surprised if PS family takes over. After all MS appointed his brother to highly successful SLT. If MS believed that his brother was brilliant he should have been appointed CEO of Sri Lankan airlines. MS said his children will be called upon only when there is a need to sing the National anthem, remember? it wasn’t long ago and what happened and happening there after is well known. And when the media published it MS said the media is unbalanced.
We need to be cautious in deciding on matters related to politics. We will have to wait for only few more months to see the real face of yahapalanaya.
ohnosiri / November 16, 2015
Don’t kill off the source of revenue/golden goose.UNP will regret so many stupid actions,knee jerk mostly,its a business afterall.Just fix it and move on.
Marapana was a joke,a proven failure in 2001 and should never have been appointed in first place.Ditto Wijedasa Rajapaksha crook who should have resigned.
Marapana should have vacated his national list slot too.
Remember UNP stopped Port City and other construction work early Jan and we are paying for it now.In opposition Packer was sent away when he should have been welcomed.
A country like ours needs business,just fix it,dont kill business!
srilal / November 17, 2015
“In opposition Packer was sent away when he should have been welcomed.”
You must be out of your mind to utter such silly things , James Packer is bad news , period ! had the yahapalna government allowed james to carry on with his Crown casino in Colombo , Colombo would have been another Chicago . find out what’s really happening inside his casinos first ,then write about these matters in public forums please!
As to port City project ,it’s yet another Mahinda R’s Hambanthota air port type disaster , John Keells was willing to fund for this project prior to taking over of Lanka Marine services by the then government . Mahinda Rajapakse never thought any thing beyond the commission , hopefully Yahapalana government would nullify this one sided agreement.
curtis hellfire / November 18, 2015
And we have the cheek to wonder why the rest of the World does not trust us to investigate our own conduct at the end of the war!
God help us X
thondamanny / November 18, 2015
Aiyo……….. frying pan to the fire we go…
Avant Garde……could have been dealt with discreetly as it was a cash cow.
Even Sirisena did not have the wisdom to handle it diplomatically without disrupting the business.
Who played into the hands of Israel or South Africa to the USA on AG issue? We have shot outselves in the foot.
Who kills a Gheese that lay golden eggs?????????????????
Yes. Ranil, its 11 months. What have you done?? Looks like the Americam strategy that you were asked to deploy is not working.
THIS TIME THE SHALLOW MEMORIED MASSES HAVE NOT FORGOTTON ALL WHAT WAS SAID AND DONE….. Now trouble………..
ohnosiri / November 18, 2015
Psst … People gamble inside casino’s,Singapore earns 2 Billion dollars thanks to Casinos and Chicago was fine last time I saw it :)
D.E.M.O Krazy / November 18, 2015
Isn’t Avant-garde the private army of Mr G R?. Employing 4000 military deserters…Hope to employ military pensioners in the future…no individual should be allowed to employ and arm so many ex military personnel…recipe for disaster!
Arthur / November 18, 2015
According to Jayaweera,about 4000 persons will lose their jobs.Ha Ha Ha……..
When Police raids a kassippu den about 5 – 10 persons will lose jobs.
When a brothel is raided about 20 will lose employment.
By the same logic Police should not perform their duty and let these guys continue their (un)lawful employment.