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Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > International Frame of  Struggle for Tamil Eelam  >  India & the Struggle for Tamil Eelam > India admits helping Sri Lanka Navy

India & the Struggle for Tamil Eelam
India admits helping Sri Lanka Navy
TamilNet, 17 January 2008

[see also India's intelligence support for Sri Lanka
in the waters of the Tamil homeland
, 4 November 2007]

A day after Colombo praised the Indian Navy for its role in "breaking the LTTE's backbone", India on Wednesday acknowledged, for the first time in recent years, its active role in countering the Tamil Tigers. Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda had told the Colombo Post on Tuesday that Tiger supply vessels and floating warehouses containing 10,000 tons of war-like material had been destroyed thanks to Indian help. His Indian counterpart, Admiral Sureesh Mehta spoke in sync and said, "We support by checking our activities on their coast and their activities on ours. In this way, we help ourselves by helping them."



''Co-operation with India has been extremely successful in countering the LTTE. Every year, the Indian Navy with the Indian Coast Guard and the Sri Lankan Navy holds four bilateral discussions. We are conducting coordinated patrols with the Indian Navy as well,'' Navy Chief Wasantha Karannagoda said.

''The Navy has destroyed almost all LTTE vessels that could have assisted the Tigers in attacking the armed forces,'' he said adding, ''Within one year we have destroyed eight floating warehouses, which had carried more than 10,000 tons of war-like material including artillery, mortar, dismantled parts of three aircraft, bullet proof vehicles, underwater delivery vehicles, scuba diving sets, and radar, among other things." He also added that the SLN had acquired ships and boats, apart from building indigenous vessels to counter the LTTE threats.

SLN Vice-Admiral Karannagoda also said that earlier the LTTE warehouses were stationed off the island, around 2800kms away in the high seas and whenever need arose they came up to about 300kms from the coast and transferred the arms cargo on to trawlers that brought them to land. He said the Navy has been successful in putting an end to this type of arms transfer.

India, which stepped up naval patrolling in Palk Strait and Gulf of Mannaar by deploying more warships under 'Operation Tasha', has now come out in the open to acknowledge its role in the successes of the Sri Lanka Navy.

Chief of Indian Naval Staff Adm Sureesh Mehta spoke about the coordinated patrolling between the two navies. He said, "We support by checking our activities on their coast and their activities on ours. In this way, we help ourselves by helping them." He also added that the Indian Navy was keeping a tight vigil on the coast and "closely watching the situation in the neighbouring country."

According to Indian media reports, Sri Lanka recently provided a long list of "urgent military requirements" to India, ranging from air defence weapons, artillery guns, Nishant UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to more radars and even laser designators for PGMs (precision-guided munitions). Domestic political compulsions arising out of inflammable Tamil sensitivities have ensured that the Indian Government remains hesitant in stepping up the offensive military capabilities of Sri Lanka.

New Delhi has not only been hesitant, but has also been clearly tight-lipped about its support to Sri Lanka. Reportedly India continues to supply its neighbouring island with a wide array of military equipment, including new low-flying detection radars. The process began with the transfer of a Sukanya-class offshore patrol vessel in 2002, with the primary aim of countering Pakistan and China's inroads into the wartorn island as merchants of death.



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