Sri Lanka committed to fight sea piracy

Sri Lanka says it will continue to play a role in anti-piracy operations until it is completely eradicated from the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, in order to provide safe passage for the sea lanes of communication.

An External Affairs Ministry statement said that Sri Lanka will support the regional and global initiatives taken by partner countries for the enhancement of maritime security and pledged its commitment to work together to combat threats to maritime security.

The statement stated that Sri Lanka has a unique model placed in the form of public/private partnership model to fight piracy in the Indian Ocean.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka took part in the 4th UAE Counter Piracy Conference in Dubai recently. The International Conference was attended by more than 600 delegates, including representatives from over 50 government and non-government organizations and senior industry and business executives. Public and private sector participants from across the region and around the world created opportunities for a productive dialogue to counter maritime piracy.

The Sri Lankan delegation consisted of Admiral D.W.A.S. Dissanayake, Advisor to the President on Maritime Affairs, Abdul Raheem, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Dubai, Sumith Dassanayake, Director, Middle East Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and Air Vice Marshal P.B. Premachandra, General Manager, Maritime Division, Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd.

During the Conference, Statements were delivered by Foreign Ministers and senior government officials, which highlighted the support of the international community for counter- piracy efforts at sea and on land.

The Conference noted that while the number of incidents of Somali based piracy has fallen significantly, the economic costs remains high at more than US$ 3 billion and the human cost to seafarers and their families is severe. The participants agreed that the international community must continue to play a vital role in fostering debate and finding solutions to this very serious issue.
Source: Colombo Gazette

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