India, Lanka and Maldives hold naval exercises
Coast Guards of India, Sri Lanka and Maldives are taking part in a joint exercise off the coast of Male.
Colombo: With international piracy extending its tentacles to Indian Ocean, Coast Guards of India, Sri Lanka and Maldives are taking part in a joint exercise off the coast of Male, aimed at achieving inter-operability.
Six warships are taking part in the five-day exercises code named `Dosti XI`. Indian Coast Guard ships `Sankalp` and `Subhadra` are participating in the war games, while `Huravee`, `Ghazee` and `Shaheed Ali` of the Maldivian National Defence Force represent the Maldivian Coast Guard.
A Sri Lankan Naval statement said that due to its geo-strategic significance, it is important for the Coast Guards of the three friendly countries to ensure the safety and security of the Indian Ocean for all sea-farers.
"The mutually beneficial exercise, therefore, will pay the way for launching coordinated efforts in times of crisis," it said.
Sri Lankan Navy`s offshore patrol vessel SLNS Sagara has set sailed to take part in the war games. This is the first time that Lankan coast guards are taking part in such a joint exercise.
"The exercise will focus on Maritime Search and Rescue, Marine Pollution Response and Boarding Operations," the statement said.