Sri Lanka: Graduation Ceremony of the inaugural Asymmetric Warfare Course of SLN

Secretary Defence attends as chief guest

16 foreign nationals receive certificates

The Graduation Ceremony of the inaugural Asymmetric Warfare Course 1/2013 conducted by the Sri Lanka Navy was held at the Trincomalee Naval facility on 18th April. Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa attended as the Chief Guest.

The course was conducted by the Special Boat Squadron (SBS) of the Sri Lanka Navy. The SBS is an elite special force of the SLN which specialises in amphibious operations and it played an important role in eliminating terrorist operations in the sea. It mastered the art of the SLN’s swarm tactics in countering the asymmetric sea warfare threats of the tiger terrorists.

This is the first ever course of this nature to be conducted by the SLN with a view of sharing its hard gained experience and knowledge of war on terror with its counterparts from neighbouring countries.

16 of the 22 participants including seven officers and nine other ranks were from China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Maldives. The three month course deals with asymmetric threats faced at sea and counter tactics developed by the navy, land navigation and clandestine maritime operations among other subjects.

Speaking at the event held at the Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda Auditorium of the Naval and Maritime Academy (NMA) the Secretary Defence said that Sri Lanka is keen on sharing its experiences with other nations and courses of this nature which reflects those experiences is an important step in ensuring the preparedness of states to face asymmetric maritime threats. He expressed hope that other nations will avail themselves of the opportunity to participate in future courses on Asymmetric Warfare, and in greater numbers.

He elaborated on the Navy’s achievement in successfully countering the threats posed by the Sea Tigers by adapting and modifying its own tactics which paid off well. “The dominance of the sea achieved by the Sri Lanka Navy through these measures during the last stages of the Humanitarian Operation to defeat terrorism in Sri Lanka ensured that the terrorist leaders such as Prabhakaran could not flee the field of battle via sea” said the Secretary.

He emphasised the fact that in the present context the Navy has a broader responsibility that is to protect the country’s territorial waters and secure the sea lines of communications. Preventing piracy, curbing poaching in the territorial waters by external forces and protecting the country’s mineral resources within the Exclusive Economic Zone remains a critical challenge from the point of view of national security and sovereignty.

In conclusion the Secretary said that the cooperation extended amongst the navies in the region and amongst allied nations around the world is essential in strengthening each other’s capabilities to successfully face the threats that arise in future.

During the ceremony theCommander of the Navy Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage presented a memento to Secretary Defence.

Defence attaches of Bangaladesh and Maldives, senior naval officers, state officials and officers of the SBS were also present during the occasion.


Original Article