India, Sri Lanka begin joint naval exercise

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
Cashing in on the overtures of the 10-month-old “pro-India” regime in Sri Lanka, India has commenced a naval exercise in the neighbouring county and that, too, at the strategically vital port of Trincomalee on the East Coast of the island.
The busiest sea lanes of communication (SLOC’s) pass close by and the port is natural deep-water harbour. China has been trying for long to find a toe-hold at the port to have some presence as its entire ship-borne crude oil supplies originating in the Persian Gulf pass through the same SLOC. India found a small toe-hold in March this year. The naval exercise will cement the ties, sources said.
“The Indian and Sri Lankan Navies would undertake the 4th edition of Sri Lanka-India Exercise (SLINEX) off Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, from October 27 to November 1,” Indian Navy spokesperson Capt DK Sharma said today. This is the fourth such naval exercise between the two countries since 2005.
Indian naval ships Kora, Kirpan and Savitri, along with ship-borne integral helicopters, entered Trincomalee today to participate in the exercise.