Indian ships enter Trincomalee for joint exercise with Lanka
Chennai , Oct 27: Notwithstanding the oft-repeated arrests of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, three ships of Indian Navy - Kora, Kirpan and Savitri -- entered Trincomalee on Tuesday to participate in a joint exercise. The event named SLINEX (Sri Lanka-India Exercise) is scheduled to commence today.
Navy spokesperson said that ship-borne integral helicopters are also participating in the event. This is the fourth edition of SLINEX set to conclude on November 1.
"SLINEX series of bilateral maritime exercises were initiated in 2005 and since then three successful engagements have been conducted," says Navy spokesperson Capt D K Sharma.
He said the exercise will commence with a Harbour Phase, during which, the participants will engage in professional, cultural and social interactions. "It will be followed by the Sea Phase from October 30, which will include anti-piracy exercises, gun firings, cross-deck helicopter operations and anti-surface exercises," Capt Sharma added.
INS Kora and INS Kirpan, the missile corvettes, are commanded by Commander Ashok Rao and Commander Abraham Samuel, respectively, and the Offshore Patrol Vessel Savitri is commanded by Commander Prashant Negi.
In addition, an Indian Naval maritime reconnaissance aircraft will also participate in the exercise.
The Sri Lankan Navy will be represented by Sayura, Samudra, Sagara, six fast attack crafts, two fast gun boats and one fast missile vessel.
Aimed at steadfast understanding of both navies
Navy says the benefits of operational interactions under the aegis of SLINEX are clearly visible as both the Navies have an improved and steadfast understanding.
"SLINEX aims to promote mutual understanding and provide exposure to both the navies to each others' operating procedures, communication procedures and best practices. Periodic conduct of this exercise has helped to build on past experiences and further advance professional as well as operational engagements between the two navies," adds Capt Sharma.
Interestingly, on the same day as the Indian ships entered Trincomalee, PTI reported from Rameswaram that 34 fishermen from Tamil Nadu were arrested in batches by the Sri Lankan Naval personnel near Katchatheevu in the Palk Straits.
The report said that 23 fishermen from Kottaipattinam (Pudukottai district) were arrested at Neduntheevu, close to the Lankan coast, while the remaining were arresting from Katchatheevu.