Sri Lanka to protest over US fighter jets ‘intrusion’

August 7, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry plans to protest to the United States after fighter jets intruded into the island’s airspace last week, the local Sunday Times newspaper said.

The Sunday Times said the External Affairs Ministry planned to hand a protest note to the US embassy in Colombo. The squadron of 10 fighter jets, believed to be from the US Seventh Fleet, had not filed a flight plan before flying into Sri Lankan territory during a training exercise last week.

The intrusion was detected by Sri Lanka Air Force personnel, who were monitoring the island’s air defence system.

“We believe is a procedural violation not a deliberate intrusion,” a senior air force official who declined to be named told AFP. “There were instances where we told them to move out of our airspace.”