United States to Bolster Maritime Security: Fourth Cutter to be Transferred to Sri Lanka

February 24, Colombo (LNW):Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Richard Verma, made a significant announcement yesterday, revealing the United States’ commitment to providing yet another medium endurance cutter to Sri Lanka in the near future.

“I am pleased to announce that the Department of State has notified Congress of our intent to transfer a fourth medium endurance cutter to Sri Lanka,” stated Verma during his visit aboard the SLNS Vijayabahu, one of the three former U.S. Coast Guard cutters previously transferred to the Sri Lanka Navy. The Department of State has allocated US$ 9 million in Foreign Military Financing to support this initiative.

Verma emphasized the importance of the pending cutter transfer, expressing, “We look forward to offering the cutter, pending the completion of Congress’ notification period. If completed, this transfer would further strengthen defense cooperation between the United States and Sri Lanka.”

Highlighting the potential impact, Verma articulated his hope that the new vessel would enhance Sri Lanka’s capability to patrol its Exclusive Economic Zone, monitor its search and rescue area, and provide additional security for ships navigating the busy sea lanes of the Indian Ocean.

The U.S. Ambassador in Colombo underscored the ongoing collaboration between the two nations, noting the previous transfer of three cutters to the Sri Lankan Navy. These vessels have been instrumental in maritime operations, law enforcement missions, countering human and drug trafficking, and supporting humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts.

“The eventual transfer of a fourth vessel would be just one more point in a long history of cooperation between Sri Lanka and the United States in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” the Ambassador added.

Deputy Secretary Verma, in addition to the cutter announcement, visited the site of the West Container Terminal (WCT) at the Port of Colombo. Financed with $553 million …read more

Source:: LNW English