South Asia and Beyond

India, Sri Lanka, Maldives Security Meet Lists Four Areas Of Cooperation

 India, Sri Lanka, Maldives Security Meet Lists Four Areas Of Cooperation

NEW DELHI: India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives have finalised four pillars of cooperation under the Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) to further enhance the effectiveness of the trilateral mechanism. The four areas are: maritime safety and security; terrorism and radicalisation; trafficking and organised crime and cyber security.

The decision to work in these specific areas was taken at the first Deputy National Security level meeting under the Colombo Security Conclave held on August 4. The virtual meeting was hosted by Sri Lanka’s Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Sri Lankan Army, General Shavendra Silva. India was represented by Deputy National Security Adviser Pankaj Saran while Ms Aishath Nooshin Waheed, Secretary in the Maldives NSA’s office participated on behalf of the Maldives. Three other nations—Bangladesh, Mauritius and Seychelles—participated as observers.

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The Colombo Security Conclave is the result of the revival of an earlier trilateral maritime security mechanism which had become more or less defunct until the meeting of the NSAs of India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives took place in Colombo in November 2020 to forge closer cooperation on maritime and security matters among the three Indian Ocean countries.

The Deputy NSA-level meeting discussed specific proposals for cooperation under each of the pillars including holding regular interactions, joint exercises, capacity building and training activities.

According a press release by the Sri Lankan Army: The CSC forum, meant to further promote maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region was first initiated by HE the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa several years ago in 2011 as the platform for Trilateral Maritime Security Cooperation among India, Maldives and Sri Lanka when he was serving as the Secretary of Defence to the Ministry of Defence and revived in November 2020.

The release further added that this year’s conclave also discussed current security measures, provisions, use of latest technology, bilateral cooperation and effectiveness and sustainability of such security measures among nations in the region, etc.

Sources said the meeting was marked by a convergence of views on common security threats. All participants stressed the vital role that regional cooperative mechanisms play in meeting contemporary security challenges.

Nitin A. Gokhale

Author, thought leader and one of South Asia's leading strategic analysts, Nitin A. Gokhale has forty years of rich and varied experience behind him as a conflict reporter, Editor, author and now a media entrepreneur who owns and curates two important digital platforms, and focusing on national security, strategic affairs and foreign policy matters. At the beginning of his long and distinguished career, Gokhale has lived and reported from India’s North-east for 23 years, writing and analysing various insurgencies in the region, been on the ground at Kargil in the summer of 1999 during the India-Pakistan war, and also brought live reports from Sri Lanka’s Eelam War IV between 2006-2009. Author of over a dozen books on wars, insurgencies and conflicts, Gokhale relocated to Delhi in 2006, was Security and Strategic Affairs Editor at NDTV, a leading Indian broadcaster for nine years, before launching in 2015 his own digital properties. An alumni of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Hawaii, Gokhale now writes, lectures and analyses security and strategic matters in Indo-Pacific and travels regularly to US, Europe, South and South-East Asia to speak at various international seminars and conferences. Gokhale also teaches at India’s Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), the three war colleges, India's National Defence College, College of Defence Management and the intelligence schools of both the R&AW and Intelligence Bureau. He tweets at @nitingokhale


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