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Australian Navy Chief here amidst anti-human smuggling ops

Australian Navy Chief here amidst anti-human smuggling ops

2012 Dec 13

By Shamindra Ferdinando
A high powered Australian delegation is in Galle to attend the third edition of the ‘Galle Dialogue’ 2012 beginning today (13).

The two-day event will be held under the theme ‘Strategic maritime cooperation and partnership to face the future with confidence’ at the Light House Hotel, Galle under the auspices of the Defence Ministry and the Sri Lanka Navy.

Chief of the Royal Australian Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC will speak on the ‘role  of navies in collective prosperity’ today.

Griggs will be followed by Commodore Stuart Mayer, CSC, also of the Royal Australian Navy. Mayer will discuss the importance of the Indian Ocean to Australia and strategic maritime cooperation.

The Australian participation at the ‘Galle Dialogue’ coincides with Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s visit to Colombo tomorrow (14) to discuss human smuggling issues, aid, economic development and human rights. Senator Carr is scheduled to meet External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris.

The Australian High Commission on Tuesday said that Sri Lanka was an important partner in the fight against human smuggling. The HC credited Sri Lanka for having disrupted over 60 separate smuggling operations involving approximately 2,900 men, women and children this year.

The key note address will be delivered by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa following the welcome remarks by Navy Chief Vice Admiral J. S. K. Colombage.

Former Navy Commander Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, who is Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Australia, too, is here in view of the Australian Foreign Minister’s visit.

Among the participants are Vice Admiral R. K. Dhowan, Vice Chief of Indian Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Su Zhiqian– Commander of the East Sea Fleet, PLA Navy, China, Vice Admiral Marin Giller, the Joint Commander of the French Forces in Indian Ocean, Vice Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, Commander Pakistan Fleet.

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