Over 570 war ships from 29 countries visited Sri Lanka

By Easwaran Rutnam

Over 570 war ships from 29 countries visited Sri Lanka between 2008 to 2020, Foreign Secretary, Admiral Jayanath Colombage said.

Speaking during the Pathfinder Indian Ocean Security Conference today, Colombage said that the Indian Ocean is being rapidly characterised by an increasing arms dynamics.

“We all know this is one of the most militarised oceans in the world. At any given time there are about 120 warships. From 2008 to 2020, 575 warships from 29 different countries have visited Sri Lanka, sometimes more than one ship a week. That is a huge number,” he said.

He also noted that there is a trust deficiency in the Indian Ocean.

Shivshankar Menon, who was the former Foreign Secretary and National Security Advisor to the Government of India, speaking at the conference said that security has become an issue in the Indian Ocean, in forms that are new and different to what we were used to.

He said that the security concerns includes ecological security.

However, despite all the complications Menon said that he is optimistic of Indian Ocean security.

Sri Lanka today joined the US, Japan and representatives from several other countries to discuss maritime security.

Following up on several successful bilateral and multilateral conferences, its Trincomalee Consultations on the Bay of Bengal held in 2017 and 2018, and a high-level International Advisory Group Meeting, Chaired by Ambassador Shivshankar Menon in 2019, the Pathfinder Foundation convened The Pathfinder Indian Ocean Security Conference as a webinar on 10th, 11th and 12th November 2020.

The inaugural session of the event today included an address by Foreign Secretary, Admiral (Prof.) Jayanath Colombage, Ambassador of the United States Alaina Teplitz; Ambassador of Japan, Akira Sugiyama; and Co-chairs of the conference, Amb. Shivshankar Menon and Bernard Goonetilleke, Chairman-Pathfinder Foundation. (Colombo Gazette)