India, Sri Lanka agree to collaborate in maritime search and rescue, transnational crimes at sea
India has lived up to its tradition of being the first responder during crises in the neighbourhood
The Coast Guards of India and Sri Lanka have agreed to continue collaboration in realms such as maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) and combating transnational crimes at sea among other areas of mutual interests.
The issue was discussed at the 5th High Level Meeting under the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding between Coast Guards of India and Sri Lanka held on Tuesday.
The meeting was co-chaired by DG K Natarajan DGICG and Rear Admiral Anura Ekanayake DG SLCG, the Indian Coast Guard said on Twitter.
The Indian Coast Guard and its Sri Lankan counterpart agreed to continue cooperation and collaboration in realms of maritime SAR, combating transnational crimes at sea, capacity building and protection of marine environment in the region, said another tweet by ICG.
India has kept up with its tradition of being the first responder during crises in the neighbourhood.
In May 2017, three Indian Naval Ships had rushed with assistance following the floods in Sri Lanka.
Only last month, Indian Coast Guard vessels were deployed since May 25, hours after receiving a request for assistance from Sri Lanka Navy to douse the fire on board MV XPress Pearl and also provided pollution control help.
The three ICG vessels along with a Dornier aircraft were actively involved in the efforts towards dousing the fire on board MV XPress Pearl.
Indian Coast Guard vessels had on 10 June returned back after working tirelessly alongside Sri Lanka for more than two weeks in Operation Sagar Arakasha 2.
Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gen. Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) expressed his appreciation to the Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay for the rapid response and support extended by the Indian Coast Guard.
Referring to the operation during a discussion with the Indian envoy on 11 June, the Sri Lankan Defence Secretary recalled the long existing bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries.
The two sides also drew attention to the avenues of smooth functioning of long-existing military training exchange between two countries while taking the pandemic situation into consideration.