UNRCPD-MAG supports Sri Lanka Police with National Stockpile Management improvements

UNRCPD worked with the Mines Advisory Group to support the Sri Lanka police align their stockpile management practices with the UN Programme of Action on SALW

One of the main sources of diversion of small arms and light weapons into illicit markets are from inadequately managed stockpiles, from which weapons are lost or stolen. Therefore, the effective management of weapons stockpiles is an essential element of the provisions of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UN PoA) and its corresponding International Tracing Instrument.

As part of a regional project in support of the PoA and ITI, UNRCPD assist States with the full and effective implementation of these instruments at different levels, including operational small arms control and stockpile management. Last month UNRCPD travelled to Sri Lanka to oversee the completion a series of activities aimed at enhancing the Police’s capacity for the safe and secure accounting, storage, transportation and handling of state-held weapons. The activities, conducted in partnership with the  Mines Advisory Group (MAG), comprised the construction of a container armory at the Paraganama Police Station (UVA Province), the construction of 17 weapon cabinets to Kalutara Police Training  College, model police stations (KPTC), and a training course for armory storekeepers and managers at the Deputy Inspector General’s Office in Badulla, Uva Province.

These activities were designed addressing a specific request of the Sri Lanka police and a technical risk assessment conducted by MAG to identify the operational needs.

On 21 February, UNRCPD was invited by the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police for the UVA region, Mr. Sampath Liyanage, to officially inaugurate the container armory. The ceremony was attended by MAG Director for Sri Lanka, Ms. Cristy McLennan, along with MAG technical and substantive staff, and senior Police Officers.

Armory handover ceremony. Clockwise: Ms. Sharmini Shadagopan, MAG Sri Lanka Programme Manager, Mr. John Turnbull, MAG Technical Field Manager, Ms. Cristy McLennan, Director of MAG Sr Lanka, Ms. Ida Scarpino, UNRCPD Political Affairs Officer, Mr. Sampath Liyanage, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police for the UVA region, Mr. Buddhika Gunasekera, Superintendent of Police of Bandarewela Division.


The container armory features weapon racks, cabinets, and storage for small arms ammunition. The facility is enclosed by security fencing to further enhance its protective measures. Constructed from steel shipping containers capable of withstanding fire, theft, and vandalism, the armory is equipped with various security features, including locks, surveillance cameras, and motion sensors. The armory has a dedicated hard-copy inventory, overseen by the Armory Manager, which records various details to ensure the accountability of inbound and outbound flow.

Container armory at the Paraganama Police Station (UVA Province)


The handover ceremony comprised an inspection of the armory and in-depth discussions with the officer in charge regarding its operational protocols and procedures. Additionally, the event featured speeches by dignitaries, traditional dances, and symbolic gestures, including a tree planting ceremony. These elements collectively emphasized the significance of this milestone, addressing the limitations of traditional storage methods, and the commitment of the Sri Lanka’s police to the safe and secure stockpile management, in line with the UN PoA’s provisions.

Inaugurating the container armory. The Armory has a plaque recognizing UNRCPD’s and MAG’s support and the financial contribution by the European Union. 


Mr. Sampath Liyanage, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police for the UVA region delivering remarks at the armory’s handover ceremony.

To ensure the long-term sustainability of the physical interventions and effective management of the newly constructed facility, MAG, in coordination with UNRCPD, conducted a series of specialized training sessions for armory storekeepers and managers. These sessions -extended to police officers in charge of other armories – were held at the DIG Station in the UVA province from 19 to 23 February. The training addressed critical elements of stockpile management, encompassing areas such as risk assessment, inventory management, marking and record-keeping, and practices for reporting losses and conducting investigations, in line with the Modular Small-arms-control Implementation Compendium (MOSAIC).

Training course photo group. Clockwise: Mr. Ranapriya Abeyasinghe, MAG Training Officer, Ms. Cristy McLennan, Director of MAG Sr Lanka, Ms. Ida Scarpino, UNRCPD Political Affairs Officer, Mr. Sampath Liyanage, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police for the UVA region, Mr. John Turnbull, MAG Technical Field Manager, Ms. Sharmini Shadagopan, MAG Sri Lanka Programme Manager.


UNRCPD facilitated two specific modules during the training sessions. The first module provided a comprehensive overview of Weapons and Ammunition (WAM) principles, with a focus on its functional area Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) and its role in ensuring supply chain security, while also encouraging discussions on bottom-up approaches for transparency, accountability, and responsible use of arms and ammunition.

Mr. Ranapriya Abeyasinghe, MAG Training Officer and Ms. Ida Scarpino, UNRCPD Political Affairs Officer, delivering the course to 31 Police Officers.


The second module on Gender-Responsive Operational Small Arms Control began with an overview of gender terminology and concepts, followed by an analysis of PSSM practices from a gender perspective. Recommendations included integrating gender analysis into specific stages, such as stockpile location risk assessment (e.g. assessing risks to local populations) and conducting comprehensive security vetting for armory staff to address potential risks of gender-based violence or domestic violence.

A total of 31 police officers attended UNRCPD’s modules, including 6 women, marking the first instance of women officers being invited to such specialized training for armory storekeepers and managers.

The completion of the two activities strengthened Sri Lanka’s capacity to ensure the safe, sustainable, secure, and efficient management of stockpiles of SALW, aligning with its commitment to the UN PoA. When governments falter in maintaining the security of their national stockpiles, whether due to negligence, fraud, or inadequate knowledge and resources, the repercussions are dire. The proliferation of stolen, lost, or diverted arms and ammunition into illicit markets not only fuels conflict and armed violence but also facilitates terrorism and organized crime, resulting in countless deaths and injuries. Therefore, the implementation of stringent stockpile management measures is crucial in mitigating these risks and fostering peace and security.

UNRCPD remains fully committed to continuing to work with the government of Sri Lanka and technical partners such as MAG to ensure the effective implementation of the PoA and its ITI.