Gotabaya commits to maritime military cooperation with India

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 January 2020, 23:06 GMT]
“India and Sri Lanka have agreed to further strengthen cooperation to ensure maritime security in Indian Ocean region and sharing of intelligence inputs,” reported India’s state-run Doordarshan News (DD News) on Saturday. The move was carried out by India’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, who is described as the most influential person in India, next to Indian PM Narendra Modi. It also comes a day after the neighbouring Maldives was made to openly acknowledge compliance with US-led Indo-Pacific Strategy of the Quad formation. The one-day visit seems to have happened without prior announcement.

“Mr Doval outlined the importance of reviewing maritime domain awareness concept between Sri Lanka, Maldives and India and to include other regional states as observers,” the DD News reported.

The Indian move has come a few days after Gotabaya Rajapaksa was engaging with Russian and Chinese Foreign Ministers amidst the visit by the US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. The US top-diplomat was carrying a letter from US President Donald Trump addressed to Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

It didn’t take much time for Gotabaya Rajapaksa to fall in line with India’s top bureaucrat, regarded as India’s “James Bond”.

“A very cordial discussion was held with National Security Advisor of #India, Ajit Doval today. Strengthening of bilateral cooperation on national security, intelligence sharing, maritime security & fostering of regional collaboration, were some of the key points of discussion,” tweeted Mr Gotabaya after meeting Mr Doval.

It was not a sticks-only approach by India. New Delhi has also pledged that it would provide USD 50 million to purchase equipment for the SL military.

Following is a 2019 episode of “Cut The Clutter” as explained by an Indian Journalist, Shekhar Gupta, who is the founder and editor of The Print. In the video, Mr Gupta has narrated the role of the NSA with a particular focus on Mr Ajit Doval.



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