Sri Lankan Air force Personnel will be trained in Bangalore; 21st IMBL meeting held in Kankasenthurai; Sri Lanka cabinet approves establishing diplomatic relations with 15 African countries; Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Navy; French naval ship
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  • (JULY 2-8)

    According to reports, due to the heavy pressure from Tamil Nadu, the Indian Defense Ministry has decided to end the training for the Sri Lankan Air Force personnel at the Tambaram Air force Base near Chennai in Tamil Nadu. Reportedly, Indian authorities have moved the nine Sri Lankan airmen to the Yalahanka base in Bangalore. The central government has justified the move saying that the phase of the training program at the Tambaram Air force Base has been completed and a new phase will begin at the Bangalore base. However, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has vehemently opposed the Central government's decision to move the Sri Lankans to a different base in India saying that the Lankan airmen should not be trained anywhere in India. 1

    Meanwhile, reports noted that the Navies of Sri Lanka and India discussed a range of maritime issues at the 21st International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting held between Sri Lanka and India onboard the Sri Lanka Naval Ship Sagara at the Indo-Sri Lanka Maritime Boundary Line off Kankasanthurei on July 6, 2012. During this meeting, matters of mutual interests related to naval operations and fishing activities were discussed. The Sri Lankan delegation headed by Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, consisted of Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Coast Guard officials. The Indian delegation consisted of Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard officials. 2

    According to reports, acting on a proposal made by the External Affairs Minister, Prof. G. L. Peiris, the cabinet of ministers has approved establishing diplomatic relations with Mauritania, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Central African Republic, Gabonese Republic, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Niger. A Sri Lankan mission in Nigeria is expected to be opened during the latter part of this year. 3

    According to reports, ten Indian fishermen and two fishing trawlers with fishing equipment were taken into custody by the Sri Lanka Navy in Mannar. They were handed over to the Talaimannar police for further action. 4

    Reports noted that the French Naval Ship ‘Dupay De Lome’ arrived at the Port of Trincomalee on July 2, 2012 for a goodwill visit. The Navy Headquarters said that the visit is the first of its kind by a French naval ship to the Trincomalee Harbour. 5

    In other developments, according to reports, Sri Lanka has earned a considerable income from United Nations peacekeeping operations in other countries, Army Media Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasekara has said. According to Wanigasekara, Sri Lanka has earned in excess of 18.4 billion Sri Lankan rupees from its peacekeeping operations around the world since 2004. Sri Lanka is a committed partner for UN peacekeeping operations with a total of 1,215 men and women from the three Armed Forces and the Police currently serving in seven different peacekeeping missions. 6