ECONOMYNEXT – Senior officials from India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives had participated in a virtual table top exercise (TTX) to improve joint operations and co-operation between the naval forces of the three countries.
“TTX-2021 is aimed at enhancing mutual understanding and exchange of best practices/ procedures for countering common trans-national maritime crime like curbing narcotics and assistance in Maritime Search and Rescue in the region,” the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.
“TTX-2021 exemplifies the deep trilateral engagement between India-Maldives-Sri Lanka which has strengthened immensely in maritime domain over the past years.
“Interaction between the three neighboring counties in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has also grown significantly in recent years, in consonance with India’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and vision of ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR)’.”
A table top exercise involves classroom exercises in dealing with an emergency or similar mission.
Rear Admiral Gurcharan Singh CSO (Ops), Western Naval Command, Indian Navy, Rear Admiral PS Mahawithana, Director General Operations, Sri Lanka Navy and Colonel Hilmy from Maldives National Defence Force were among offices in the exercise.
Sri Lanka Navy and the Indian Coast Guard had recently conducted a joint operation to fight a fire on MV X-Press Pearl, a container carrier and engage in pollution control.
The cooperation achieved between the Navies was the result of continued engagements like the TTX to evolve common standard operating procedures, the statement said.
India, Sri Lanka, and Maldives agreed to focus on ways of enhancing maritime security cooperation in the Indian Ocean Regiona at the fourth National Security Adviser (NSA)-level trilateral meeting held in Colombo in November last year.
The meeting was attended by India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne, and Maldives’ Defence Minister Mariya Didi. (Colombo/July16/2021)
Senior officials from Seychelles and Mauritius also participated virtually. (Colombo/July15/2021)