India has taken on a major role in ensuring maritime security in the Indian Ocean region. An agreement on maritime security between India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives signed here on Monday, has assigned a lead role to India.
At the meeting attended by India’s NSA Shivshankar Menon, Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Maldivian Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim, it was agreed that Lanka and the Maldives would be able to use material collected by the Indian Long Range Identification and Tracking Date Centre if approached through diplomatic channels.
India will also provide Maritime Domain Awareness training. It will help set up Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres and give search and rescue training. India will give its assets for the surveillance of the Lankan and Maldivian Exclusive Economic Zones on a case by case basis.
India will conduct courses in pollution control. Tsunami warnings will be transmitted between the countries through the agreed Points of Contact in addition to the National Tsunami Warning Centres.
The three countries agreed to exchange information on illegal maritime activities between identified Points of Contact and exchange messages on a regular basis. It was also agreed to set up a legal and policy cell to combat piracy.