Upon the request of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNODC) the Sri Lanka Navy conducted a specialized ship boarding training for the naval and coastguard officers of Madagascar and Comoros. On successful completion of the course, the first batch of naval and coast guard officers of Madagascar and Comoros received certificates at the closing ceremony today (27), which was graced by Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi as the Chief Guest along with the participation of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne. The ceremony was held at the of Dikovita Fisheries Harbour premises in a grand manner.
This training was carried out by the Navy’s elite, Special Boat Squadron (SBS) in Trincomalee and at Sri Lanka Coast Guard Training Centre Mirissa. During the training, six personnel from Comoros Coast Guard and another six personnel of Madagascar Navy along with an interpreter from Madagascar were trained on procedures and tactics in relation to "Visit Board Search and Seizure” (VBSS). The training which was started on 03rd May 2016, terminated on 27th of this month. This special training carried out on the recommendation of the UNODC, will turn out to be a driving force for the Madagascar and Comoros defence personnel to fight against drug smuggling and sea piracy activities in the East African seas.
The trainees also carried out a ship boarding exercise displaying their skills which were acquired during the course covering a wide spectrum of special skills such as, mid-sea boarding and vessel searching techniques. Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, congratulated the naval personnel who completed the very first specialized training of this nature and awarded certificates for their successful completion of the course. Moreover the senior officers who attended this occasion representing Madagascar and Comoros, extended their gratitude to the Commander of the Navy for the assistance rendered in this regard.
The occasion was attended by Ambassador of Europe Delegation H.E. David Daly, Seychelles High Commissioner, H.E. Phillippe Le Galle, Honorary Consul of Madagascar in Sri Lanka, Mr. B.A. Mahipala, Honorary Consul of Comoros in Sri Lanka, Mr. Zeinul Abdin Mohamd Hairu, Secretary, Ministry of Law & Order and Southern Development, Mr. Jagath Wijeweera, Director General, National Dangerous Drugs Control Board, Mr. K. Gamage, Programme Officer of UNODC, Mr. Shanaka Jayasekara, Chief of Staff of the Navy, rear Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe, Director Generals of Sri Lanka Navy, Senior Naval Officers, Defence Advisors of Australian, Chinese, Iranian and Indian High Commissions to Sri Lanka and a host of dignitaries as well.