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Sri Lanka thanks India for off shore patrol vessel

Here is the photograph of SLNS Sayurala (P 623). Sri Lanka Navy commissioned SLNS Sayurala (former CGS Vigraha of Indian Coast Guard) at the Sri Lanka Navy Dockyard, Trincomalee on August 28. Photo Credit: Sri Lanka Navy

COLOMBO (PTI): Sri Lankan government has thanked India for providing an off shore patrol vessel for its Navy, saying this goodwill gesture would strengthen bilateral ties and better cooperation between the two neighbouring countries.

SLNS 'sayurala', acquired in 2008, was commissioned at the Sri Lanka Naval Dockyard in Trincomalee yesterday in the presence of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

The former Indian Coast Guard Ship 'Vigraha', built by Mazagon Dockyard at Mumbai in 1990, joined the Sri Lanka Naval fleet on August 23 last year and was assigned Pennant Number P 623.

The vessel is equipped with Marine Surveillance Radar and Communication equipment for the assigned role in Sri Lanka's Exclusive Economic Zone.

Speaking on the occasion, Rajapaksa said the goodwill gesture by India would strengthen bilateral relations and better cooperation between the two neighbouring countries.

Addressing sailors and officers at the Trincomalee base, Rajapaksa said action had been taken to set up a series of new navy camps to protect Sri Lanka's coastal belt.

"We are an island nation, so we have to consider tightening sea security to prevent any outside threat, mainly the smuggling of arms and ammunition," he said.

He said although the war was over, the Navy had a key role to play to protect the country and it did so valiantly during last phase of the war against LTTE.

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