International Maritime Boundary Line meeting between Sri Lanka-Indian navies held virtually

The 31st International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting between the navies of Sri Lanka and India was held on a virtual setting at the Light House Galley, Colombo today (29th September 2021).

Held for the 31st time, the IMBL meeting focuses on exchange of views to overcome common challenges faced by both partners, while enhancing mutual understanding among navies as well as Coast Guards of two countries. The Sri Lanka Navy delegation for this year’s meeting was led by Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Priyantha Perera. Meanwhile, the Indian Navy delegation was headed by Flag Officer Commanding Tamil Nadu & Puducherry Naval Area, Rear Admiral Puneet Chadha.

Amongst the main points of discussion from the Indian side; measures to curb smuggling across Indian waters, preventing the entry of Sri Lankan fishermen into Indian waters and actions to be taken to educate the Indian fishing community to prevent Indian fishing vessels from entering Sri Lankan waters were chief.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan delegation drew the meeting’s attention on measures to be taken by both parties to prevent Indian fishing vessels from entering Sri Lankan waters and assaults and destruction of fishing gear of local fishermen by Indian fishermen. Further, key focus was also paid with regard to the steps to be taken to prevent the fishermen of both countries from using their fishing vessels for smuggling of narcotics and contraband to Sri Lankan waters.

Moreover, the two sides reached a consensus at the meeting on increasing border patrols and strengthening information exchange mechanisms between either side to curb illegal activities.

The meeting was organized in accordance with COVID-19 protocols and it was also attended by Director Naval Operations, Commodore Nishantha Peiris, Deputy Director General Sri Lanka Coast Guard, Commodore Janaka Nishshanka and a group of senior officers from the Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard.