Sri Lanka Navy expands presence along coast

August 28, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s navy is setting up new bases along the island’s north western and eastern coasts to bridge security gaps that existed during the separatist Tamil Tiger insurgency, its commander said.

The Navy said with strengthened presence and expanded operational capabilities it will be in a better position to guard the coastal belt from Mannar to Kalmunai point north of Pooneryn. According to the new security plan, naval bases are being established in areas that did not have our presence during the insurgency,” Navy chief Somathilaka Dissanayaka said.

Navy bases are being established in Panama, Mullikulam and Mullaithivu and naval detachments will be set up along the coast.

The establishment of Navy bases along the north-western coast is also expected provide security for oil exploration in the Gulf of Mannar region and help efforts to combat piracy and illegal immigration.

Cairn India began drilling offshore test wells in August.

The Navy said Mullikulam in the north western coast was formally a base of the Sea Tiger Tamil separatist naval wing which was also used to smuggle in drugs and fuel from India.

Mullikulam was a Sea Tiger base used for training