Visiting British navy chief takes Dvora- ride, sees Tiger-held Sampoor

June 5, 2006

The visiting Chief of Naval Staff of Great Britain Admiral Sir Jonathan Band Saturday evening met President Mahinda Rajapakse, at Temple Trees, after an unprecedented visit to the Trincomalee Navy base, where he boarded an Israeli-built Dvora Fast Atack Craft (P 474) to tour the inner and outer harbour. The British Navy chief had a glimpse of LTTE held Sampoor coast, the scene of on and off confrontations between the navy and the Sea Tigers, a military official said.

Sir Band, on a high profile four-day visit, is believed to have commended the young commanding officers of fighting vessels for their exceptional performances under difficult conditions during his visit to the base, the nerve centre of naval operations in the northern and eastern waters.

Admiral Band Sunday travelled to Kandy by train to pay homage at Dalada Maligawa.

On Friday Admiral Band addressed a group of Navy officers, from the South Asian region, who had completed a British funded course on International Humanitarian and Maritime law.

"All of us fight against terrorism and it is the same challenges we all face. These are the sort of challenges that we face now and are likely to represent an even greater challenge in the future," he said.

"Globalisation is now a fundamental part of the way that we do business and its continued operation is absolutely vital to the economies of just about every country. Interrupt the free movement of products and raw materials as a result of regional conflict, terrorist attacks or conflicts over resources and the global economy will be hit hard," he added.

"So it is in all of our interests to work together as nations to strengthen international peace and stability with our Armed Forces alongside other agencies, collectively acting as a force for good around the world," Admiral Band said.

"We need an international system based on the rule of law which is better able to resolve disputes and prevent conflicts and we need to work together more closely to achieve effective and secure regional neighborhoods," he said.

The week long course was designed to highlight the role of law and to emphasize the necessity of regional cooperation in campaign planning at the operational level for joint operations and multi- national peace keeping operations.

"It is difficult for any country to stand alone and be self sufficient…even for a developed nation like the UK," he said in his address. (SF)


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