Colombo, August 23 (newsin.asia): Supporting Sri Lanka’s fight against COVID-19, Indian Naval Ship Shakti arrived in Colombo on 22 August 2021 with 100 tons (5 containers) of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) from Visakhapatnam.
Promptly responding to the request by the Government of Sri Lanka, the Government of India facilitated the speedy delivery of this big consignment onboard the 27,500 T Naval Vessel. Indian Navy’s assistance in this regard was discussed between the Chiefs of India and Sri Lanka Navies last week.
The deployment of the Indian Naval Ship was a part of Operation Samudra Setu-II. This was also a manifestation of the cooperation between the two Navies and various other stakeholders in India and Sri Lanka as Sri Lankan Naval Vessel also named SLNS Shakthi with 40 tons of LMO on board arrived in Colombo a few hours later.
Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay and the Commander of Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne felicitated the Commanding Officer of INS Shakti on 23 August 2021. Vice Admiral Ulugetenne said that India’s Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh had been extremely supportive towards Sri Lankan Navy and expressed his gratitude to the Indian Navy.
The High Commissioner emphasized that the ‘Mission Sagar’ initiative of the Indian Navy has been a pioneering effort in supporting early delivery of essential COVID-19 shipments to friendly foreign countries in emergency whilst the formal supply chain is being restored.
180 tons of LMO came into Sri Lanka from India during 20-23 August alone and more consignments are being scheduled. INS Shakti is carrying empty LMO containers back to Visakhapatnam towards ensuring continued supply of Oxygen from India to Sri Lanka.
Reflecting India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ policy, Indian Navy and Coast Guard have promptly responded to several crises in Sri Lanka such as containing the fire onboard MT New Diamond and MV XPress Pearl and survey efforts off Colombo by INS Sarvekshak to restore fishing activity. India has also been extending its support to Sri Lanka in the battle against COVID-19 in multiple ways on an ongoing basis including through the supply of essential medical items and vaccines.