New Delhi, Feb 14 : Sri Lanka's Navy Chief, Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, feels that cooperation among Indian Ocean Region states is vital to check the threat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
"The (LTTE) is a huge threat to the island nation and if it is not stopped now it can be threat to other countries as well," Vice Admiral Karannagoda said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) seminar here, he said that the cooperation between the navies of India and Sri Lanka is important for countering the LTTE.
He said that cooperation with India has been "extremely successful in countering the LTTE".
Commenting on the IONS seminar, Vice Admiral Karannagoda said the initiative is important to meet the security challenges of different nations in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and strengthen the maritime security.
He said that to check activities like terrorism, smuggling, piracy, and human trafficking, Sri Lanka is monitoring its area while India is monitoring its own side.
Earlier, the Colombo Post quoted Vice Admiral Karannagoda as saying that "every year, the Indian Coast Guard and the Sri Lankan Navy hold four bilateral discussions. We are conducting coordinated patrols with the Indian navy as well."
He claimed that the Sri Lankan Navy had destroyed over 10,000 tonnes of material belonging to the LTTE, which could be used for war.
Vice Admiral Karannagoda said the Sri Lankan Navy had destroyed almost all the vessels of the LTTE, which could have helped it sustain the conflict.
The Post quoted Sri Lanka Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukkwella as saying that the Lankan Navy chief during his visit will raise the issue of the recent clashes involving Indian fishing boats and Sri Lankan ships.
It was reported that "on February 5 a flotilla of 400 Indian fishing boats in the Sri Lankan territorial waters fired on a Sri Lankan Navy vessel in the seas off Thalaimannar."
"Navy Chief Karannagoda would raise the issue, among other things, with Indian officials," Rambukkwella said.