The 15th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit is presently going on at Colombo, Sri Lanka from July 27 and is expected to finish on August 03. The eight-nation regional conference with the theme of “Partnership of Our People”, is focusing on the elimination of terrorism, poverty, energy crisis and climate change in the backdrop of regional cooperation. Indian Prime Minister would be attending the concluding session of the summit from August 01. Sri Lanka is spending approximately Rs 3 billion (One Indian rupee is equal to Rs 2.70 SLR) to host the summit including purchase of bullet-proof luxury cars to be used during the eight-day summit.
It is reported that Sri Lanka has taken tough security measures to ensure smooth functioning of the event. As LTTE has the capability to strike through Land, Sea and Air, it is reported that India has got the approval from Sri Lanka
- to patrol Sri Lankan territorial waters with three Indian Naval Ships including two frontline guided-missile destroyers during the summit to avoid terrorist attacks from the sea.
- to control the skies of Colombo by a special Indian Air Force team to prevent any possible air attack.
- to provide security to the Indian Prime Minister and his officials by bulletproof vehicles and trucks that will be brought to Colombo from India.
Also elite commandos of Special Protection group would be giving protection to Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh during his visit. It is further reported that more than 3,000 Indian security personnel would be engaged to provide security cover.
Public opinion from India and Sri Lanka regarding the extra ordinary security arrangements to the extent of Indian Naval Ships patrolling Sri Lankan waters is available at The Times of India and Lanka Newspapers.
Update: August 01
After reaching Sri Lanka’s international airport, Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh boarded one of the three Indian Air Force’s Mi-17 choppers to reach a virtual curfew-bound Colombo, about 40 km away. Read more from Thaindian News and Rediff News.
Also Indian naval ships have been anchored off the Sri Lankan coast. Read more from Web India 123.
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