Navy steps up patrols along IMBL | Sunday Observer

Navy steps up patrols along IMBL

2 May, 2021

In the backdrop of a rise in the number of Covid-19 deaths in India, the Sri Lanka Navy has stepped up its vigilance with round-the-clock patrols along the International Maritime Border Line (IMBL) in the Palk Straits that divides the two countries.

Navy Spokesperson Captain Indika de Silva told the Sunday Observer yesterday that the Navy was always on the alert along the IMBL to prevent the infiltration of Indian fishing vessels into Sri Lanka’s territorial waters in the North.

“Whereas now the Navy patrols have been doubled to keep away the Indian fishing vessels crossing the IMBL and entering Sri Lanka’s territorial waters,” Captain Indika de Silva said. He said that a few Indian fishermen were nabbed in Mannar a few days ago and they were tested for Covid-19 and later handed over to the Police for follow up legal action.

Apart from the alertness in the sea, the Navy has also increased its foot patrols along the coastal areas of the North Western region and in the North to prevent any form of infiltration into Sri Lanka’s territory.

The fisherfolk in the North have also been cautioned by the Navy to keep away from developing any contacts with the Indian fisherfolk in the IMBL.

Northern Governor P. S. M. Charles held a special meeting on Thursday to discuss extensively the present situation in the North with regard to the Covid-19 menace. The Chiefs of the Armed Forces and the police in the North along with Health officials that were present at the meeting expressed their views on dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic in the North. The decision to strictly implement the number of people permitted to attend public events such as temple festivals and weddings was also taken up at the meeting.

Early last week the President and Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Sri Kamakshi Amman Kovil in Jaffna were arrested for holding a chariot festival in violation of the Covid-19 health regulations.

A huge crowd had attended the festival without maintaining social distancing or wearing face masks.

The Army and the police have been deployed extensively in Jaffna to ensure that Covid-19 preventive guidelines were followed properly by the civilians