India navy ship to survey Sri Lanka’s southern seas
ECONOMYNEXT – An Indian navy oceanographic vessel will survey seas off Sri Lanka’s southern coast in a joint exercise with the island’s navy and generate data to update navigational charts.
"The survey will be useful in enhancing the level of navigational safety of all ships visiting Sri Lanka," India’s High Commission (embassy) in Colombo said.
The survey is to update all the navigational charts covering the southern Sri Lankan waters with the latest hydrographic data and to further cooperation between the two countries in the field of hydrography."
The vessel INS Darshak, will map the area with members of the survey branch of the Sri Lanka Navy who will also receive training.
"This would assist in capacity building of Sri Lanka Navy’s Hydrographic Department and would provide an opportunity for both navies to learn from each other and to build on the already existing high level of interoperability between the two navies," the statement said.
Detailed navigational charts of Sri Lankan seas were originally developed by the Royal Navy.
The Indian vessel will also visit Galle and Colombo.
No mention was made of Hambantota port, which is to be sold to China shortly for 99 years along with breakwater, port infrastructure, utilities and an artificial island in a deal that has run into controversy and allegations of corruption which have been denied.
Military activity has been prohibited in the port except with the permission of the Sri Lanka government.
Visits by Chinese submarines to a Chinese container terminal under the Sri Lanka’s previous administration un-nerved India.
Security analysts say India had to commit more resources into policing the Indian Ocean waters as a result of heightened Chinese naval activity in the area. (Colombo/Mar26/2017)