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Australia and Sri Lanka further strengthen ties with launch of new joint maritime security operation

australia

Australia and Sri Lanka’s commitment to countering maritime security threats has been on display with the launch of a new joint maritime security operation in Colombo today.

Aptly named Disi Rela, which means ‘keeping a watchful eye over the maritime environment,’ the new joint activity will see the Australian Border Force (ABF) and Department of Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) undertake a week-long programme of work, from Dikkowita to Chilaw.

Commander Joint Agency Task Force Operation Sovereign Borders, Rear Admiral Brett Sonter, RAN said that Disi Rela underscores the strong partnership between the two countries.

“We often refer to the Australian-Sri Lankan relationship as gold standard. Today’s launch of Disi Rela takes it to a platinum level. I am looking forward to the opportunities it presents to our respective countries with regards to countering maritime security threats,” Rear Admiral Sonter said.

Disi Rela involves the sharing of operational capabilities and information between the ABF and SLCG, including raising community awareness about people smuggling, human trafficking, and other maritime crime types.
Director-General of Department of Sri Lanka Coast Guard, Rear Admiral Pujitha Vithana commented that Disi Rela provides a platform to build stronger community awareness about maritime security threats.

“As the name Disi Rela suggests, it is everyone’s responsibility to keep a watchful eye over our maritime regent environment. In other words, Sri Lankans from all levels of society have an important role to play,” Rear Admiral Vithana said.

The community can report any suspicious or illegal maritime activities that occur anonymously through a dedicated hotline, 041 750 1400, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “We are proud to be working alongside Sri Lanka Coast Guard as we work together to face shared challenges and achieve our shared goals. Disi Rela is proof that the Australian and Sri Lankan relationship continues to grow from strength to strength,” Rear Admiral Sonter added.

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