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Lankan rebels equipped with international maritime capacity

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Jan 12, IRNA
Sri Lankan rebels, the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE), are equipped with international maritime capability.

In a detailed presentation to the top brass of Andaman & Nicobar Command and senior officers from the naval headquarters here this morning as part of a biennial maritime seminar, senior Sri Lankan Navy Service (SLNS) officer Commodore J S K Colombage, posted on the SLNS Sayura, said "there are terrorists today with international maritime capability. One of them is the LTTE.

The presentation made to the Indian Navy included information on the equipment currently being used by the LTTE. These include small attack craft capable of speeding up to 50 knots and carrying an explosive payload of 150 kilograms, according to SLNS intelligence.

"These are the most lethal human-guided, anti-ship missiles ever created," Colombage said, adding that "if a criminal can breach your security, then a terrorist certainly can."
The SLNS Sayura, a Sukanya-class patrol boat gifted to Colombo in 2000, is here for the Milan 2006 exercises and was en route to Port Blair.

On January 14, warships from India and seven other navies will spend an entire day off the Andaman Islands, going through joint maneuvres for the six-day Milan 2006 event.

Milan 2006 is the fifth and the biggest in the series. The Indian Navy hosted the first Milan in 1995, and tries to hold one every two years. This time, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore have sent a ship each. Indonesia has sent two.

In addition, Australia has sent a delegation, but no ship.

As for Burma, it's a first of sorts. Its UMS Anawyahta is the first Burmese warship to have sailed abroad in the last 40 years.

Naval officers will spend several hours at a seminar discussing papers on issues of interest to the nine navies. Among them is the dealing with pirates, smugglers, traffickers and gunrunners in the Straits of Malacca, through which some 300 ships pass every day, carrying, among other goods, about 50 percent of crude oil produced in the West Asian region.


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