India, Lanka and Maldives hold naval exercises
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.