The 31st International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting between the navies from Sri Lanka and India was held virtually today.
The IMBL meeting focuses on exchange of views to overcome common challenges faced by both partners, while enhancing mutual understanding among navies as well as the coast guards of two countries.
The Sri Lanka Navy delegation for this year’s meeting was led by Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Priyantha Perera. Meanwhile, the Indian Navy delegation was headed by Flag Officer Commanding Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Naval Area, Rear Admiral Puneet Chadha.
Amongst the main points of discussion from the Indian side were measures to curb smuggling across Indian waters, preventing the entry of Sri Lankan fishermen into Indian waters and action to be taken to educate the Indian fishing community to prevent Indian fishing vessels from entering Sri Lankan waters.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan delegation drew attention to the measures to be taken by both parties to prevent Indian fishing vessels from entering Sri Lankan waters and assault and destruction of fishing gear of local fishermen by Indian fishermen.
Focus was also placed on the steps to be taken to prevent fishermen of both countries from using their fishing vessels for smuggling of narcotics and contraband to Sri Lankan waters.
Moreover, the two sides reached a consensus at the meeting on increasing border patrols and strengthening information exchange mechanisms between both sides to curb illegal activities. (Colombo Gazette)