India assures USD 50 Mn for Sri Lanka’s defence equipment purchases

India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval has told Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that it is important that India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives review the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) regime and include other regional countries as observers.

The MDA regimen keeps track of vessels in the area.

Doval said this, among other things, when he met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today (18). There were two meetings, the first one was one to one, and the other was in the presence of officials from both sides. The meetings were followed by a working lunch.

The Presidential Media Division said in a press release that in the cordial discussions, both countries expressed an interest in stepping up a military-to-military corporation, maritime security and close co-operation and inter-operability between their Coast Guards.

Doval brought up the need for the interoperability of the two Coast Guards in order to check smuggling, drug-trafficking, gun-running by Non-State Actors and illegal fishing.

India also pledged assistance to Sri Lanka in acquiring intelligence-gathering technology. A USD 50 million credit line to purchase intelligence-gathering equipment was reiterated. Establishment of earth coordinating centre was also discussed.

It is not known as to what other matters were discussed in the one on one meeting between the Lankan President and the Indian NSA. But in the presence of other officials, Indian fishermen’s intrusions and poaching in North Sri Lanka; Islamic terrorism and the deal to give the Eastern Container Terminal construction work to a consortium including India and Japan, were not discussed, reliable sources said.

Source: NewsIn Asia