The Netherlands embassy in Colombo said last Wednesday that Colombo has become a hub to combat sea piracy, the Colombo Gazette newspaper reported.
The first team of Dutch marines (Royal Netherlands Navy), which used Colombo as a hub against piracy, departed on Wednesday from the island to the Netherlands after disembarking from a Dutch vessel in the Colombo harbour the day before, the embassy said.
The marines were part of a Vessel Protection Detachment (VPD) team, deployed on the vessel originating from Suez in Egypt.
The embassy said that the Dutch VPD team offered protection on board against piracy attacks in the Indian Ocean.
“In cooperation with the government of Sri Lanka – more specifically with the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development – arrangements have been made to use certain Sri Lankan harbours to on and off-load Dutch VPD teams. Strict regulations and procedures are followed to act in accordance with the Sri Lankan law in respect to weapons and ammunition,” the embassy added.
The embassy further said that it is essential to deploy these protection teams in the most efficient way since the protection of vessels by Royal Netherlands Navy is costly and time consuming.
Since Sri Lanka is geographically at the boundary of the greatest risk area to ships, the cooperation with the Sri Lanka authorities is of importance.
The Netherlands embassy in Colombo said “cooperation with Sri Lanka to protect one of the world’s main international trading routes over sea (approximately 300 international vessels a day) therefore is of major significance.”
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