The Royal Netherlands Navy has decided to use Colombo as a hub to provide security to the international trade vessels against the pirates.
“In good cooperation with the Government of Sri Lanka - more specifically with the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development - arrangements have been made to use certain Sri Lankan harbours to on-, and off-load Dutch VPD teams. Strict regulations and procedures are followed to act in accordance with the Sri Lankan law in respect to weapons and ammunition,” the embassy in Colombo said.
It also said that this morning the first team of Dutch marines (Royal Netherlands Navy) departed from Bandaranaike Colombo International Airport to return to the Netherlands after disembarking from a Dutch vessel in the Colombo harbour the day before.
“These marines were part of a Vessel Protection Detachment (VPD) team, deployed on the vessel originating from Suez in Egypt. The Dutch VPD team offered protection on board against piracy attacks in the Indian Ocean. Most of these attacks occur in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Somalia,” it said.
It said that the protection of vessels by the Royal Netherlands Navy is costly and time consuming. Therefore, it is essential to deploy these protection teams in the most efficient way. The cooperation with the Sri Lankan authorities is of importance, since Sri Lanka is geographically positioned at the boundary of the greatest risk area to ships. The cooperation with Sri Lanka to protect one of the world’s main international trading routes over sea (approximately 300 international vessels a day), therefore is of major significance, it added.