The U.S. Navy’s Pacific Partnership will engage in Sri Lanka for the first time in the 12-year history of the mission making the mission’s initial outreach to South Asia.
Civil and military personnel of the Pacific Partnership are scheduled to arrive in Hambantota to participate in a series of humanitarian and disaster relief exercises and a US Navy fleet has already arrived in the island as part of the mission to facilitate and organize the Mission, NewsRadio reported.
The joint exercise initiated after Dec. 2004 tsunami, this year involves Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka (host nations), the US, Japan, Australia and Canada.
Chief of US Pacific Fleet Rear Admiral Gabrielson is scheduled to join the launch of the exercise.SLNS Samudura (formerly of the US Coast Guard) will join the 10-day exercise.Last week a delegation of US Congress members visited the Hambantota port.
Currently, Sri Lanka and China are negotiating an agreement for the former to run the port.
Meanwhile, according to a Daily Mirror report, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a communist party of Sri Lanka claimed that extension of a 10-year-old Agreement “ACSA” signed between the Defence Ministry of the United States and Sri Lanka will put the country at risk.
“The Government is attempting to extend the ACSA for another ten years. With this we are bound to supply facilities whenever they need our help in their missions. As a country, we don’t benefit by these kinds of agreements as we don’t interfere in wars with the other countries,” General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva said.