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* Sri Lanka Coast Guard in joint exercise with India and Maldives
Mon, Apr 23, 2012, 10:18 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 23, Colombo: Sri Lankan Coast Guard is joining the Indian and Maldivian Coast Guards for a 5-day naval exercise that commences today in the seas off Male in the Indian Ocean.

Sri Lanka Navy's Offshore Patrol Vessel, SLNS Sagara sailed for the Maldives to take part in the exercise "DOSTI - XI" held from 23rd to 27th April 2012, the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) said.

The joint exercise in the Indian Ocean aims to strengthen bonds of friendship and enhance mutual operational capability and cooperation, according to the SLN.

The exercise will focus on Maritime Search and Rescue, Marine Pollution Response and Boarding Operations.

"Due to its geo-strategic significance, it is important for the Coast Guards of the three friendly countries to ensure the safety and security of the Indian Ocean for all sea-farers. The mutually beneficial exercise, therefore, will pay the way for launching coordinated efforts in times of crisis," Sri Lanka Navy said in a release.

Indian Coast Guard Ships "Sankalp" and "Subhadra" and the Maldivian Coast Guard Ships "Huravee", "Ghazee" and "Shaheed Ali" of the Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF) will participate in the exercise.

The Sri Lankan Coast Guard participating for the first time will be represented by Indian-built Vikram class ship SLNS Sagara of the Sri Lanka Navy.

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