India resumes naval exercise with Lanka

Indian Navy is fielding its new stealth frigate- INS Shivalik and a Rajput-class destroyer along with four smaller vessels in the six-day exercise that began on Monday.

Sri Lankan navy is reciprocating with six smaller vessels used for coastal security.
The last bilateral exercise was held in 2005. It was discontinued because of enhanced security threats from LTTE guerillas.

But in the last six years, China not only made major diplomatic progress in Sri Lanka but also sponsored construction of strategically important Hambantota port as well.

India swung into action late. After the end of the three decade-long armed struggle, Indian Navy salvaged the Kanakesanthurai port, which was made unusable by the LTTE.

The port can lower the transit time of goods from and to India, Bangladesh and propel economic activity in the norther part of Sri Lanka.

Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma visited Colombo last year during the 60 anniversary of the Sri Lankan navy, bolstering the bilateral friendship.

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