India notes importance of maritime engagement with Sri Lanka

India today noted the importance of maritime engagement with Sri Lanka saying it has been one of the pillars of the bilateral regional engagement of both countries.

Speaking at the ‘Galle Dialogue 2018’ conference at the Galle Face hotel in Colombo today, Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy said that global terrorism continues to acquire new dimensions by the day.

He said that the reach, access to technology, organisational flexibility and financing avenues that terrorist organisations enjoy today is unprecedented.

“India has been a victim of State sponsored terrorism for many years now. Unfortunately, this threat has evolved faster than many of us had anticipated and is no longer confined to a country or region. It has, in every sense, acquired a global reach and influence,” he said.

Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar said that a worrying trend in the Indian Ocean Region has been the proliferation of violent non-state actors and networks at sea, which harbours numerous challenges and demands a recalibrated outlook to collective maritime security.

“Maritime piracy and maritime terrorism are the two major ways in which non-state actors threaten to jeopardise the security of the maritime domain, with a direct influence on land affairs,” he said.

He said that to enhance interoperability and develop a common understanding of the region’s security challenges, the Indian Navy actively participate in numerous regional maritime exercises with our partner states.

“As a matter of fact, India – Sri Lanka maritime engagement has been one of the pillars of our bilateral regional engagement,” he said.

He also said that the Indian Navy is assisting partner states by setting-up a Coastal Radar Surveillance System and mutual sharing of shipping information through a White Shipping Information Exchange agreement, which they have already concluded with 18 countries thus far and are in the process of expanding this further. (Colombo Gazette)


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