Colombo, Sri Lanka — The neighboring countries, Maldives, India and Sri Lanka have established a Secretariat for Trilateral National Security Advisors (NSA) on Maritime Security Cooperation.
The NSA Trilateral Secretariat was established on March 1st at the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Headquarters in Colombo. The Navy Commander Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne informed that the fully-fledged new Secretariat is expected to operate 24/7.
It was attended by the Secretary, Ministry of Defence and State Ministry of National Security and Disaster Management Gen. Kamal Gunaratne and Foreign Ministry Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage (Retd) on behalf of Sri Lanka along with the Navy Commander Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne and the Defence Attachés of India and Maldives.
While speaking at the brief ceremony, the Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Colombage stated that the “entire world is benefitted with this initiative as the Indian Ocean is the lifeline of the entire world.”
The fourth NSA-level trilateral meeting on Maritime Security Cooperation with India and the Maldives was hosted by Sri Lanka on November 27th and 28th of 2020 while Bangladesh, Seychelles and Mauritius represented the meeting virtually as Observer States.
The safety of the Indian ocean has been a priority to the countries present including Maldives. Training operations have been previously conducted by the three countries in this regard focusing on drug trafficking, terrorism, piracy and foreign vessels trespassing or fishing in a country’s waters.