India, Sri Lanka Coast Guard chiefs discuss cooperation

Indian Coast Guard Director General Rajendra Singh met his Sri Lankan counterpart Rear Admiral Samantha Wimalathunga in India on Wednesday and discussed more maritime cooperation, especially in the context of fishermen from both countries, the Indo-Asian News Service reported today.

A three-member delegation led by Wimalathunga is on a three day visit to India for a high-level meeting with the Indian Coast Guard.

It aims at furthering cooperation between the two countries on maritime issues of mutual concern and formulate a cooperative approach, an official statement said.

“Of late, the Sri Lankan Coast Guard has been proactive in meeting the challenges in the new global safety and security regime in this region. The recent visit is significant in providing continued impetus to the existing ties between the two organisations,” the statement said.

The focus of the meeting was on further strengthening operational interaction for search and rescue, preservation and protection of marine environment and revalidating operational and communication procedures between the two Coast Guard.

The Sri Lanka delegation also called on Defence Secretary G. Mohan Kumar and deliberated on issues of common maritime interest.

It was mutually agreed to strengthen cooperation on evolving collaborative approach, in addressing a spectrum of maritime issues concerning safety and security and further streamlining the procedure for release/repatriation of fishermen, the statement added. (Colombo Gazette)