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'SLINEX-2023' kicks off to boost ties between Sri Lankan, Indian navies


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COLOMBO (PTI):  The 10th edition of the annual bilateral maritime exercise between Sri Lanka and India, aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving mutual understanding and exchanging best procedures in the multi-faceted maritime operations between the navies of the two countries, kicked off on Monday.

"SLINEX-2023" will be conducted in two phases -- the Harbour Phase in Colombo from April 3-5, followed by the Sea Phase from April 6-8, the Indian High Commission said here on Monday.

The Indian Navy will be represented by INS Kiltan (Advanced Anti Submarine Warfare Corvette) and INS Savitri (Offshore Patrol Vessel), while the Sri Lanka Navy will have SLNS Gajabahu (Advance Offshore Patrol Vessel) and SLNS Sagara (OPV) in the exercise.

In addition, the Indian Navy Chetak helicopter and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft along with Sri Lanka Air Force Dornier and BEL 412 helicopters will also be joining this exercise.

"SLINEX-2023 aims to enhance interoperability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices/ procedures in multi-faceted Maritime operations between both Navies," an official statement said.

The previous edition of SLINEX was held in Visakhapatnam in March 2022.

Sri Lankan Navy Commander, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, along with India's Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K. Jacob took part in the opening ceremony of "SLINEX-2023" on Monday.

Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay is scheduled to host the visit of Defence Minister Premitha Bandara Tennakoon on board the indigenous Indian Naval ships.

"To spread awareness and interest towards the armed forces, both the Indian Naval ships will be kept open for a large number of visitors including school children," the statement said.

SLINEX exemplifies the deep engagement between India and Sri Lanka, which has strengthened mutual cooperation in the maritime domain, it said.

The interactions between the Sri Lankan and the Indian navies have grown significantly in recent years, in accordance with India's "Neighbourhood First" policy.

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