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SLNS Rathnadeepa receives replacement engine from Australia

navy news 201703 16At a request of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, the Australian Border Force provided a replacement engine for SLNS Rathnadeepa, a Bay Class Patrol Vessel, of the Sri Lanka Navy, during a ceremony held at Pier No1, SLNS Rangalla yesterday (15).
Accordingly, the vessel engine was officially handed over to the Commander of the Navy by the Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka HE Bryce Hutchesson. 

SLNS Rathnadeepa inflicted damage on its Port Main Engine in October last year and it was found that the damage was beyond economical repairs. Upon a request made by the Commander of the Navy from the Australian Border Force, they responded swiftly and provided this replacement engine worth USD 40,000 at zero cost to the Sri Lanka Navy. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka said that this handing over of engine marked a significant step forward in practical collaboration between the two countries in countering human smuggling activities. Besides, he mentioned that the cooperation between the two nations are now stronger than never before. Also the High Commissioner went onto mention that he is extremely delighted by the moves put into practice by both countries in this regard. 

During his remarks, the Commander of the Navy recalled of the age old ties between Australia and Sri Lanka at different levels including operational and intelligence, also the efforts which immensely helped to nip illegal immigration efforts in the bud. Also, the Commander of Navy recollected memories in 2014 when two Australian ships were handed over to Sri Lanka, during his tenure as the Director General Coast Guard. Moreover, Vice Admiral Wijegunaratne extended his debt of gratitude to the Australian Government for the unconditional support extended throughout the years. 

The Australian Government had gifted SLNS Rathnadeepa (previously known as Hervey Bay) in 2014 to the Sri Lanka Navy in a bid to curb illegal human smuggling to Australia. Sri Lanka Navy has been very successful in the assigned task and was able to prevent a number of such illegal immigration attempts over the years.

This significant occasion was also attended by Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy, Rear Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe, Deputy Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Neil Rosayro, Director Generals, Australian Defence Advisor to Sri Lanka, Captain Jason Sears and a host of senior officers from the Sri Lanka Navy and Australian Border Force. 

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