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India, Sri Lanka carry out naval exercise

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Dec 17, IRNA -- The first joint naval exercise between 
India and Sri Lanka began about 10 nautical miles off Colombo 
yesterday, it was reported here on Friday. 
According to media report, the non-combat, three hours of 
humanitarian exercise saw seven ships - two Indian and five Sri Lankan
- sail out to the open sea and perform the joint exercises in three 
areas; search and rescue, anti-piracy and polution control. 
The exercise, official sources said, aimed at maintaining 
preparedness to ensure the "safety and security of international 
shipping and lives at sea." 
The Director General of the Indian Coast Guard, A.K. Singh, the 
Indian High Commissioner, Nirupama Rao, the Sri Lankan service 
commanders and the secretaries for defence and public security were 
among those who observed the exercise. 
As Sri Lankan ship -- the SLNS Sayura -- gives way to the Indian 
CGS Sarang to lead the formation and the exercises, the mood on board 
the Sayura is one of expectation. 
After hovering low near the vessels, the Chetak recedes to the 
backdrop as the formation heads to the open sea. 
In addition to CGS Sarang, CGS Durgabhai Deshmukh, the Chetak 
helicopter and a Dornier aircraft comprised the Indian component. 
Four other Sri Lankan vessels joined the SLNS Sayura on the choppy

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