Sept 29, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s navy is monitoring merchant shipping movements to guard against the threat of attacks by Somali pirates who have been extending their raids further east into the Indian Ocean. The International Maritime Bureau has warned that pirate attacks might extended even further east towards Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Ports Authority chairman Priyath Wickrama said the government was concerned about the threat posed by pirates as the island’s ports and shipping sector had been affected by terrorism during the ethnic war.
The increased number of piracy-related incidents have affected the tranquillity of the region, he said in a speech at the International Port Security 2011Conference in the Netherlands on September 28.
“Although piracy is not a common feature within the territorial waters of Sri Lanka, the country has developed its national maritime policy to minimize such incidents with the strengthening of coast guard service and other maritime related security arrangements.”
Incidents of sea piracy are not reported in and around Sri Lanka frequently as in the case of Malacca Strait, Gulf region and in the African waters such as Somalia.
“However, as any sea piracy attack c