HMS Spey has arrived in Sri Lanka for the first time to celebrate 75 years of relations between the two countries.
Spey, which is operating in the Indian Ocean for the first time having spent the bulk of her Operation Woodwall deployment around the Pacific Rim/Southeast Asia and Australasia, spent three days in the capital Colombo, say the Royal Navy here.
“The visit paves the way for future co-operation between the two Commonwealth navies in a part of the world key not just to both the UK and Sri Lanka, but global trade and stability. The patrol ship was greeted by a ceremonial welcome provided by the Sri Lankan Navy pipe and drums band – a well-received nod to Spey’s Scottish heritage.
In response, the ship hosted a demonstration evening and reception, attended by British High Commissioner Andrew Patrick, Sri Lanka’s Defence Minister, Premitha Tennakoon, as Guest of Honour and Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, the head of the Sri Lankan Navy, and business leaders looking to forge links between the two countries.
The remainder of the short visit – which took place on the cusp of the 76th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence – was focused on military discussions and improving understanding of both the ways of working of the two navies and their capabilities.”
This will prove particularly useful in coming months as the Sri Lankan Navy is integrating in the Combined Maritime Forces – the international coalition of more than 40 like-minded nations dedicated to tackling smuggling, piracy, terrorist and criminal activity in the Indian Ocean/Gulf/Red Sea region, you can read more on this here.