Sri Lanka coast guard beefs up surveillance with new boat

Mar 02, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s fledgling coast guard took delivery of a patrol craft built by the navy that will help combat poaching and human smuggling and better protect economic resources, officials said. The 14.5-metre fibre-glass boat was built by the navy largely for shallow water patrolling, making use of facilities that built a large fleet of small attack craft that helped defeat Tamil Tiger separatists.

Daya Dharmapriya, director-general of Sri Lanka’s coast guard, said the boat will be used for patrolling the island’s coastal waters to prevent poaching and for protecting marine resources and habitat.

Dharmapriya said the coast guard is building up its fleet with boats, equipment and sailors mainly provided by the navy, he said.

Inshore patrol craft was built by the navy at its boat design and building facility in Welisara, a suburb north of Colombo at a cost of 20 million rupees.

Navy commander Somathilake Dissanayake said the navy is making use of its expertise in building a large fleet of small craft that played a key role in defeating the Tamil Tiger separatist naval wing, especially their suicide boats.

The navy has agreed to provide personnel on secondment to the coast