President Maithripala Sirisena assured that his government is totally committed to support the campaign against human smuggling and sea piracy. He said that Sri Lanka would extend fullest cooperation to the efforts taken to enhance maritime security.
The President made this statement when the Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne called on him at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney , yesterday (May 25).
Ms Payne thanked the President for excellent cooperation extended to Australia for curbing human smuggling and added that the cooperation could be further extended.
President Sirisena said that drug smuggling has also become a major threat to many countries and emphasized the need for broad international cooperation to eliminate that menace.
Defence Minister, explaining the experience gained by the Australian Navy over the years to prevent drug smuggling, said that drugs have become a major threat to many societies because of its harmful effects on the young generation. On the other hand, the drug smugglers use the profits to fund terrorist organizations and it is a major problem to law and order in many countries, she pointed out. Hence Australia is willing to closely cooperate with Sri Lanka in this field and provide every possible assistance to Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard, Ms Payne assured the President.
Australia currently provides training to military cadets from Sri Lanka, and the Defence Minister acceded to the President’s request to expand training facilities to include middle-level and senior military officers.
Minister John Amaratunga, Deputy Ministers Harsha de Silva, Ajith P. Perera, and the High Commissioner Somasundaram Skandakumar participated on this occasion.