Defence Ministry to Go Ahead With Indo-Sri Lankan Naval Drills
Defence Ministry has decided to go ahead with the Indian Navy’s joint exercises with Sri Lanka called SLINEX. However, the growing resistance of Tamil Nadu against military cooperation with Sri Lanka has led to the decision that the joint exercises with the island nation must be held far from the four south Indian states.
According to Indian Navy, the next edition of SLINEX-series exercises with Sri Lankan Navy will be held away from the coasts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka as advised by Defence Ministry. While two exercises in the SLINEX series have been conducted, the last one was held in Trincomalee in Sri Lanka last year after a gap of 6 years.
As of now, India is preparing for the next edition of SLINEX joint exercises with Sri Lankan Navy in Indian waters. The SLINEX series of exercise is aimed to develop greater interoperability and foster greater cooperation between the two navies. SLINEX 2011 was the first ever biggest naval exercise conducted in Sri Lanka. The exercise was conducted in 4 phases and included a Harbour Training Programme conducted at Trincomalee and a Sea Training Programme conducted in the seas off Trincomalee.
Defence Ministry has decided that it will be going ahead to train Sri Lankan Defence personnel at its facilities and continue to forge military ties with Sri Lanka. For years, India has been maintaining military ties with Sri Lanka and providing specialized training to its officers.
In the past, thousands of Sri Lankan personnel have been trained at military institutions ranging from Counter-insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte (Mizoram) to School of Artillery at Devlali (Maharashtra). India has also offered specialized naval courses in gunnery, navigation, communication and anti-submarine warfare to Sri Lankan navy personnel.