A statement said the Sri Lanka Navy has deployed more naval units to patrol the northern and northwest waters of the island around the clock, following the possibility of illegal migrants entering the shores of Sri Lanka via sea routes, which could surge the transmission of COVID pandemic in the country.
Accordingly, steps have been taken to deploy more ships (OPV & FGBs) and Fast Attack Craft to raise surveillance in the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) as well as Inshore Patrol Craft to patrol the coastal waters of the island.
Incidentally, the Eastern Naval Command has attached some of its ships and craft to the Northern Naval Command, whereas the Western Naval Command has deployed additional ships and craft to patrol the sea area extending from Chilaw to Mannar, for these special operations.
Moreover, the Navy has increased foot patrols to add weight to the security in the coastal areas and has established Coastal Observation Points in selected locations as well.
Similarly, the Navy has urged the fishing community in respective areas to be vigilant regarding the possible arrival of illegal immigrants and inform relevant authorities, if any suspicious activity is observed in this regard.
They have also been informed not to make contact with foreigners engaging in smuggling activities at sea.
At this crucial juncture, the Navy urges all fishing communities to refrain from having any contact with foreign fishing vessels at sea and to provide information to the Navy if they know of any such smugglers.