The Government of Sri Lanka vehemently condemns the terrorist attack today at a school in Peshawar killing over 125 persons including 84 innocent children and injuring more than 100 others. This dastardly attack reflects the brutality of the perpetrators particularly targeting school children. The brazen and inhumane manner in which this heinous attack was carried out at a seat of learning is particularly shocking.
Sri Lanka which has suffered immensely under the scourge of terrorism for almost three decades, share the pain and anguish of the people of Pakistan at this time of unspeakable grief. The Government and people of Sri Lanka extend heartfelt condolences to the families of the bereaved and offer prayers to find strength in coping with this tragedy and wish those injured a speedy recovery. The resilience of the Government and people of Pakistan would undoubtedly strengthen their resolve to annihilate terrorism in that country.
Consolidating global peace and security requires the firm commitment of the international community to interdict terrorist activities and intensify cooperation to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Sri Lanka reiterates its own strong commitment to this effort, and stands in solidarity with Pakistan’s fight against terrorism.
SLAF transports equipment to repair desalination plant in Male in a special humanitarian operation
Maldivian Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon greeting the Sri Lanka Air Force crew at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Hulhule' Island, Maldives
Continuing Sri Lanka’s assistance to Maldives to address the ongoing water crisis in the capital, Male, the Sri Lanka Air Force in a special humanitarian operation today (11 December 2014), transported from Singapore to Maldives, the essential spares and accessories for repair of the desalination facility in Male. Due to the size and dimensions of the cargo, it was not feasible to dispatch the equipment on a commercial flight. Therefore, acceding to a request from the Government of Maldives, President Mahinda Rajapaksa directed the Sri Lanka Air Force to undertake the transport of the equipment to Maldives on an urgent basis.
SLAF C130 aircraft carrying accessories for deslaination plant arrives at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Hulhule' Island, Maldives
The Government of Sri Lanka commenced delivery of drinking water to the Maldivian capital Malé by the evening of 5th December. Malé is facing a severe shortage of drinking water, following a fire on the previous day at its sole water purification plant which disrupted the water supply to the city, and prompted the authorities to declare a "disaster situation." Malé is one of the most densely populated cities in the world and is home to over 100,000 people, being approximately one third of the total population of the Maldives.
The initial consignment of 5.8 metric tonnes of bottled water which arrived on a SriLankan Airlines flight was handed over by Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Maldives, Neil Dias to the Maldivian Minister of Defence and National Security, Colonel (Rtd.) Mohamed Nazim. Several high ranking ministers including Dr. Aishath Shiham, Minister of Education, Dr. Mohamed Shainee, Minister of Fisheries & Agriculture, Mr. Mohamed Saeed, Minister of Economic Development and Mr. Thariq Ibrahim Minister of Environment & Energy were also present at the airport to receive the donation. Accepting the emergency relief, Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim thanked President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the people of Sri Lanka for the timely action in this hour of need of the Maldivian people.
The Ministry of External Affairs, in close coordination with SriLankan Airlines has made arrangements to send over 100,000 bottles of drinking water to the Maldives in the next few days. SriLankan Airlines has the highest frequency of flights from any destination in the world to Malé with five daily regular flights. The water will be distributed among the residents of Malé free of charge. The Sri Lankan Government has offered additional assistance to the Maldives to address this crisis situation if required.
Sri Lanka takes part in joint Coastguard Exercise with India and Maldives
Personnel of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard took part in a tri-partite exercise with counterparts from India and Maldives in an exercise named Dosti XII – from 29th to 31st October, 2014 off the coast of Malé. Sri Lanka Navy’s Ship (SLNS) Samudura with 180 naval and coastguard personnel took part in the joint exercise. Two Indian Coast Guard ships (ICGS) Samar and ICGS Rajdoot and two Maldivian Ships (MCGS) Huravee and Shaheed Ali took part in the exercise.
Meanwhile the head of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard, Rear Admiral S.S Ranasinghe called on Maldivian Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim and Chief of Defence Force, Major General Mohamed Ibrahim during the exercise and discussed avenues of mutual cooperation to enhance capacities of the two countries.The Coast Guard Department of Sri Lanka, currently headed by Rear Admiral Ranasinghe was established by an Act of Parliament in 2009. The Maldivian Defence officials were keen to obtain training for their personnel in life saving. It was noted that this year alone the Sri Lankan Coast Guard has saved more than 320 lives of which over eighty had been foreign tourists.
The Joint Exercise was initially a bilateral event between India and Maldives held since 1991. Sri Lanka joined the 11 edition of exercise in 2012 with another Sri Lanka Navy Ship (SLNS) Sagara representing the country in that year. The aim of India-Maldives-Sri Lanka Tri-Lateral Exercise is to further fortify the friendship, enhance mutual operational capability, and exercise interoperability and to build cooperation between the Coast Guards of the three countries. The focus areas during Dosti-XII was to enhance capacities in Maritime Search and Rescue (M-SAR), Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Marine Pollution Response (POLRES) and Anti-piracy operations. The exercise was also viewed by representatives from maritime forces of Seychelles and Mauritius.
The mutually beneficial exercise highlighted the importance of launching coordinated efforts to ensure the safety and security of sea-farers. Participants were able to gain valuable insights into achieving inter-operability which is vital for tackling piracy and related maritime security concerns in the geo-strategically important Indian Ocean.
The Sri Lanka Coast Guard was represented by SLNS Samudura under the command of Captain YMB Jayathilake of the Sri Lanka Navy.