Sri Lanka naval meet seen strengthening Indian Ocean maritime security

Dec 25, 2010 (LBO) – A naval symposium to mark the Sri Lankan navy’s 60th anniversary has helped improve maritime security co-operation among navies to combat smuggling and poaching in the Indian Ocean, an official said. Samarasinghe said intelligence sharing among intelligence agencies and regional navies had also improved. Sri Lanka navy chief Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe said talks between chiefs and senior officers of navies operating in the Indian Ocean led to improved communications and procedures among their fleets.

“The meeting helped improve our relations with foreign navies and co-ordination among the navies,” he told a news conference.

“I can lift the phone and talk to their navy chiefs. We’ve shortened the normal communications channels.”

The better communications would help improve naval action against crimes on the high seas like arms and drug smuggling and also poaching, all problems faced by Sri Lanka’s own navy and others in the Indian Ocean.

Navy chiefs, senior officers and war ships from 19 countries took part in the Sri Lanka navy’s 60th anniversary celebrations this month.

They included the naval symposium, a closed-door meeting of navy chiefs and senior officers and a s