Nov 08, 2008 (LBO) – The United States has given Sri Lanka’s navy more equipment to improve maritime security against the Tamil Tigers while urging a negotiated settlement to the ethnic conflict. US Ambassador Robert O. Blake, Jr. handed over the equipment to navy commander Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda at a ceremony in eastern Trincomalee harbour, home to the navy’s main base, Thursday, a US embassy statement said.
The equipment, to support Sri Lanka’s maritime security, consisted of a radar-based maritime surveillance system and several Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs).
“The equipment was provided under Section 1206 of the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act, which provides authority for the U.S. Department of Defense to assist in equipping and training partner nations to deter global terrorist activity,” the embassy said.
“Both the surveillance system and the inflatable boats are designed to enhance maritime security by increasing the Sri Lankan Navy’s ability to detect off-shore smuggling activity.”
In his remarks at the handover ceremony, Ambassador Blake expressed the U.S. Government’s hope that the radar system and the inflatable boats would help the Sri Lanka