India is offering its expertise to build Sri Lanka’s newly established Coast Guard force, a senior Indian government official has said.
India’s Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, on Friday has said that India is helping its island neighbour to build its coast guard, as the nation seeks help from India.
Rao was delivering the National Maritime Foundation’s Eminent Person’s Lecture titled ‘India as a Consensual Stakeholder in the Indian Ocean: Policy Contours’ at the India Habitat Centre.
The Foreign Secretary has said that India is looking as to how it could work to build Sri Lanka’s capacity for the maritime security, ANI reported. She also has noted that they are also working towards operationalising a concept of mutual and shared security.
Rao has said that India’s bilateral relations with Sri Lanka and other neighbour countries give India access to a vast area of the Indian Ocean and maritime security which is a new perspective to India’s bilateral relations as the broad spectrum of India’s ties with the neighbours has a strong economic and socio-cultural dimension.
Sri Lanka’s Coast Guard was launched in March 2010 to effectively curb the human smuggling and drug peddling activities across the country’s seas.
It will also to assist Sri Lanka fishermen in distress while fishing in the deep sea and provide security to the ships transporting goods and passengers.
The Coast Guard Force is to protect the coastal belt around the country and maritime zone in extent of 21,700 square kilometers and maritime economic zone of 465,800 square kilometers within the country’s territorial water.