General Studies IIISecurity

Exercise Dosti


The 15th edition of the biennial trilateral coast guard exercise Dosti involving India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka is underway in the Maldives. 

Key-highlights Exercise Dosti

  • Year 2021 marks the 30th year of the Dosti Trilateral Coast Guard Exercise.
  • The exercise was first initiated in 1991, between the Indian and Maldives Coast Guard. 
  • Sri Lanka joined the exercise for the first time in 2012.
  • During the five-day exercise, Indian Coast Guard vessels namely ICGS Apoorva & ICGS Vajra joined the Sri Lanka Coast Guard vessel named SLCGS Suraksha.
  • The Exercises carried out over the past ten years have focused on exercises and drills on providing assistance in sea accidents, eliminating sea pollution, and the Coast Guard’s procedure and conduct during situations such as oil spills.


  • To further fortify the friendship
  • To build cooperation between Coast guards of three countries
  • To enhance mutual operational capability & exercise interoperability.
  • This exercise is significant for India because Maldives & Sri Lanka are of strategic importance to India & its maritime security interests.

India Srilanka Economic Relations

  • India and Sri Lanka enjoy a vibrant and growing economic and commercial partnership, which has witnessed considerable expansion over the years.
  • India and Sri Lanka are member nations of several regional and multilateral organizations such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)South Asia Co-operative Environment ProgrammeSouth Asian Economic Union and BIMSTEC.
  • India is Sri Lanka’s third largest export destination, after the US and UK.
  • India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA): More than 60% of Sri Lanka’s exports enjoy the benefits of the agreement, which came into effect in March 2000.
    • Sri Lanka remains among the largest trade partners of India in the SAARC.

Defense and strategic cooperation

  • India and Sri Lanka conducts one of the largest joint Military exercises called ‘Mitra Shakti’. Both conducts joint naval exercise called ‘SLINEX’.
  • India is the largest provider of defense training program to Sri Lankan soldiers and Defence officials
  • India, Sri Lanka, and Maldives have signed trilateral maritime security cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.
    • The cooperation aims at improving surveillance, anti-piracy operations and reducing maritime pollution

India’s efforts to counter China

  • In 2014 India abstained from voting on a UNHRC resolution calling for a probe into alleged war crimes by Sri Lanka. And it helped to revamp the century-old relationship with Sri Lanka. (While Pakistan and China voted against the resolution)
  • In a sign of a closer strategic partnership between Sri Lanka and India, they signed civil nuclear cooperation agreement which is Sri Lanka’s first nuclear partnership with any country.
  • In the wake of China’s economic dominance in the island, India is also entering into Sri Lanka’s mega project business in a big way by focusing on infrastructure development in the Northern and Eastern provinces.
  • India is also planning to build Trincomalee Port. The port is envisioned as an Indian counterweight to Chinese developments at Hambantota Port.

Exercise between India and Sri Lanka

  • Exercise MITRA SHAKTI (Military Exercise)
  • SLINEX (Naval exercise)

Exercise between India and Maldives

  • Exercise Ekuverin (Military Exercise)

Source: Indian Express

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