SL for rule based maritime order in Indian Ocean


Sri Lanka has called for the establishment of a rule based maritime order in the Indian Ocean before ‘geopolitical power interplays in the region to convert the Indian Ocean into a centre of tension’.Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe delivering the keynote address at the ‘Indian Ocean: Defining Our Future’ Conference held at Temple Trees yesterday said the security and stability of the Indian Ocean could not be left to chance and that states needed to take advantage of the “benign strategic atmosphere that exists to create a maritime order in the Indian Ocean that can withstand the challenges that may emerge in the future”. This could create a more ‘manageable future’, he added.

The region which has the involvement of regional powers, littoral states, major maritime users of the Indian Ocean and non-state actors thus provide a hotbed for conflicts which could also extend to the sub-surface waters and the air space.

As the Prime Minister asked the 40 foreign and local delegates to use the two day platform to discuss a ‘shared understanding of the opportunities and challenges in the Indian Ocean’, he asked that they also focus on the two core issues of: Freedom of Navigation and the Freedom of Digital Connectivity.