New Delhi: Indian and Sri Lankan navies started war exercises named SLINEX-20, in the Indian Ocean, from Monday. This is the eighth bilateral war exercise between the two navies. The exercise is being held at Trincomalee in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had said a few days ago, that Sri Lanka is opposed to the domination activities in the Indian Ocean region. He indicated the change in Sri Lankan policies without naming China. Against this background, the India-Sri Lanka naval cooperation seems to be expanding.
The Indian destroyer INS Komarta, specially built for anti-submarine warfare and INS Kiltan are participating in the exercises. Along with this the light combat Druv helicopters, Chetak helicopters and Dornier Maritime Patrol aircraft also are participating in these maritime exercises. Flag Officer Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, Chief of the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy, is leading the maritime exercises.
SLN Sayura, the offshore patrol vessel and SLN Gajabahu, a training vessel, are representing Sri Lanka under the leadership of Rear Admiral Bandara Jayathilaka, the Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet, Sri Lanka Navy. Indian Navy spokesman said that SLINEX-20 war exercise is an example of the comprehensive cooperation between India and Sri Lanka and the mutual coordination has been strengthened with the exercise.
Against the background of the tension with China, this is the second war exercise, held in the Indian Ocean. In September, India held joint exercises with Australia, in this region. Earlier, in September, last year, India and Sri Lankan navies had held the war exercise SLINEX-2019.