MonitorsPublished on Oct 04, 2009
Sri Lankan Navy and Indian Navy successfully conclude their joint naval exercises, which started on October 6 and continued till October 8, 2009. The naval training exercise, code-named CADEX 2009, took place on the western seas off Sri Lanka.
South Asia Weekly 92
Sri Lanka
< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Sri Lanka, India joint naval exercises end

Sri Lankan Navy and Indian Navy successfully conclude their joint naval exercises, which started on October 6 and continued till October 8, 2009. The naval training exercise, code-named CADEX 2009, took place on the western seas off Sri Lanka. It was aimed at providing training to Sri Lankan naval officers on board Indian Naval ships. The exercise also helped in maintaining excellent bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka and provided a glimpse and an access to the places of historical and cultural importance to Sri Lanka to young Indian Naval cadets.

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Bangladesh goes to UN tribunal to resolve maritime boundary dispute

The Bangladesh government has decided to approach the United Nations (UN) for resolving its longstanding dispute with India and Myanmar over the maritime boundary. The country took this step as talks between Bangladesh and India and Bangladesh and Myanmar failed to resolve the issue. The Bangladesh foreign ministry said it has handed over copies of the notification to the High Commissioner of India and Ambassador of Myanmar in Dhaka. Bangladesh shares maritime boundary with India and Myanmar. The issue has become complicated following discovery of hydrocarbons in the region. All the three countries have been claiming their sovereignty in the disputed water to exploit the natural resources. Bangladesh accused its neighbours of unfairly cutting off a significant portion of their maritime area in the Bay of Bengal and preventing them from exploring and exploiting oil and natural gas resources.

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Opposition brewing up against Israel-Maldives relations

Soon after the Maldivian government declared its resolve to renew ties with the Israel all opposition and media groups have jointly opposed the move. They are pointing to alleged atrocities committed by Israel on Muslims in Palestine. Moreover, they have also warned that renewal of ties will also provoke terrorist organisations like Al Qaeda to attack and bomb the "Maldivian paradise". On its part, the Maldivian government did try to assuage the feelings of the opposition by telling them that Al Qaeda is not going to launch attacks on them merely because they have established relations with Israel. Maldivian Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed clarified the doubts by saying that even the donor countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have no objections to their relationship with Israel as they themselves are having one with the Jewish nation.

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Army Headquarters comes under terrorist attack

In an audacious attack, ten terrorists belonging to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Taliban (TTP) attempted to storm the Army General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi on the morning of October 10. Disguised in army fatigues, the terrorists opened fire after being challenged outside the GHQ premises. In the ensuing firefight, five terrorists were killed along with six soldiers, including two officers ? a Brigadier and a Lieutenant Colonel. The remaining attackers took 42 people hostage in a room outside the GHQ. After a tense standoff, elite Special Services Group (SSG) operatives mounted an assault early next morning; during which three hostages, two commandos and four terrorists were killed, while the ringleader of the group, Aqeel alias Dr. Osman, was captured alive. In other brazen acts of terror, two suicide bombs shook the Frontier cities of Peshawar and Shangla claiming more than 80 lives. Most analysts view the surge in violence in the past week as revenge attacks by the TTP after its leader, Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a drone strike in August. His death marked great uncertainty about the group's cohesion. The attacks serve as a chilling reminder that the TTP has regained much of its capability to attack security forces inside insurgency prone areas as well as in high security urban centres. As evidenced in the remarks of Interior Minister Rehman Malik, many Pakistanis also see a link between the recent attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul and the hike in terrorist activity inside Pakistan, thus creating a widely held perception that the TTP is being funded by Indian agencies in Afghanistan.

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Contributors

Anjali Sharma - Sri Lanka, Maldives

Joyeeta Bhattacharjee - Bangladesh

Kaustav Dhar Chakraborti - Pakistan

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