Jan 21, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s southern port of Galle has become a hub in the fight against Somali pirates who threaten international merchant shipping, a report in a new magazine said. “Sri Lanka is one of the few countries in the region to authorise the transit of armed guards through their waters for on board protection of merchant ships and fishing vessels.”
To support the anti-piracy effort, Rakna Arakshaka now has set up an overseas network of eight land-based and floating armouries in a joint venture with Avant Garde Maritime Services, a private security firm run by ex-servicemen.
Private maritime security companies hired by ship owners to protect their ships are vetted and approved by the defence ministry and are required to provide serial numbers of weapons taken aboard and log ammunition expenditure. There are about 50 such companies operating now. An increasing number of vessels are embarking and disembarking armed guards used for onboard protection as they sail past Galle, Samuditha, a new magazine for entrepreneurs, reported.
This has opened up opportuniti