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US Department of Defense conducts ISR Aircraft demonstration (Pics)

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A significant training programme commenced at SLAF Base Ratmalana today (12 March 2024), facilitated through collaboration between the United States Department of Defense (DOD), the U.S. Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lanka Air Force. 

This programme will continue until 14 March 2024. The primary objective is to provide comprehensive briefings and conduct Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) flight demonstrations, with an emphasis placed on enhancing Sri Lanka’s capabilities in Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) missions.

The initiative aims to enhance Sri Lanka’s maritime domain awareness capabilities, provide training to SLAF pilots and Sri Lanka’s Tri-Services involved in maritime surveillance in preparation for future engagement opportunities with the United States and strengthen interoperability and relations between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Government of the United States to promote a more safe and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. 

Over time, this new capability will help Sri Lankan Tri-Services to better protect Sri Lanka’s marine resources, deter illicit trafficking, monitor its exclusive economic zone, and ensure the security of its seas.

The ISR Demonstration will help to establish the requisite infrastructure and support for future training and cooperation with the SLAF, including joint security exercises, MDA initiatives, and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations, ultimately encouraging greater interoperability between the United States Department of Defense and the Sri Lanka Tri-Services.

The event was graced by the National Security Advisor, Hon. Sagala Ratnayake, Ambassador of the United States of America in Sri Lanka, Her Excellency Julie Chung, Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa, Chief of Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sampath Wickremaratne, Director General Planning, Air Vice Marshal Bandu Edirisinghe, senior officers from Air Force and Navy and officials from the U.S. Embassy.

(dailynews.lk)

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Local multi-day fishing trawler seized with ICE & heroin worth over Rs. 3798 Mn.

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In another successful intelligence operation of the Sri Lanka Navy, a local multi-day fishing trawler (01) carrying a large haul of narcotics, with 06 suspects aboard, were intercepted about 133 nautical miles (about 246 km) off Dondra, south of Sri Lanka. 

The operation also resulted in the seizure of another local one-day fishing trawler (01) with 04 suspects, believed to have been there to fetch the consignment of narcotics mid-sea. The operation was mounted by deploying Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship (SLCG) Samudraraksha which made the apprehension on 12th April 2024.

 The haul of narcotics included about 179kg and 906g of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) and about 83kg and 582g of heroin (with their packages). The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera arrived at the Galle Harbour on 13th April to inspect the consignment of narcotics held in this operation.
The Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard regularly patrol and conduct search operations along the island’s coast to prevent illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, stemming via sea routes.

During this dedicated operation based on naval intelligence, a suspicious multi-day fishing trawler, which was about 133 nautical miles (246 km) off the south coast of the island, was intercepted and searched by SLCG Samudraraksha. As the fishing trawler was suspected of smuggling a haul of crystal methamphetamine and heroin in 17 sacks, during the search, the narcotic-carrying trawler was held on 12th April, with 06 suspects aboard.

Additionally, SLCG Samudraraksha inspected another local one-day fishing trawler, which was plying suspiciously in the sea area. During the inspection, 04 suspects were apprehended, along with the trawler, on suspicion of attempting to exchange narcotics with the multi-day trawler previously seized.

Following a thorough search of the suspicious multi-day fishing trawler at the Galle Harbour on 13th April, authorities recovered 17 sacks containing crystal methamphetamine and heroin. The haul of crystal methamphetamine, weighing about 179kg and 906g (including packages), were in 129 packages, stuffed in 13 sacks and the stash of heroin, weighing about 83kg and 582g (including packages), were in 76 packages, contained in 04 sacks. The consignment of narcotics, along with the 06 suspects and the multi-day fishing trawler was handed over to the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) for onward legal action.

Moreover, the 04 individuals, along with the one-day fishing trawler, which were seized on suspicion of being involved in a drug exchange at sea, were also handed over to PNB for further legal action.

The individuals held in the operation are known to reside in the Weligama, Imaduwa, and Galle areas, ranging in age from 23 to 54 years old. Meanwhile, the gross street value of the consignment of drugs seized during this operation is believed to be more than Rs. 3798 million.

Including the recent confiscation, the Sri Lanka Navy has held drugs with a gross street value of over Rs. 9300 million during operations mounted so far in 2024. The Sri Lanka Navy – the country’s first line of defence is committed to coordinating with other law enforcement authorities, to carry out anti-drug operations of this nature in order to foil drug smuggling attempts being made in the guise of fishing.

(navy.lk)

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Sri Lanka Mirror wishes everyone a happy Sinhala and Tamil New Year!

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The 2024 Sinhala and Tamil New Year dawned at 09.05 pm last night (April 13).

‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ extends heartfelt New Year greetings to all our readers. May this upcoming year be filled with boundless happiness, prosperity, and success for each and everyone of you.

–  Sri Lanka Mirror team

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Derailed train causes delays on coastal line

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A train has derailed at the Kalutara South railway station on Saturday morning (13).

Trains operating on the Coastal Line are thus experiencing delays, Sri Lanka Railways said.

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