Colombo::Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage attended the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) 2014 Seminar and Conclave of Navy Chiefs held in Australia. The seminar was held from 26th to 27th March 2014 under the theme, "Protecting the ability to trade in the Indian Ocean Maritime Economy" while the conclave attended by participating Chiefs of Navies was held on 28th March. The Commander was accompanied by Navy Seva Vanitha Unit President, Mrs. Srima Colombage.
The biennial event was hosted by the Royal Australian Navy, which will hold the IONS chairmanship for the next two years. Between the sessions, the Navy Commander was able to meet a number of high ranking defence and naval officials that included Australian Defence Minister, Hon. David Johnston, His Excellency the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Australia, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, Chiefs of Naval Staff Pakistan Navy, Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila, Chief of Staff of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, Commander-in-Chief Royal Thai Navy, Admiral Surasak Rounroengrom, Chief of Australia Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, Chiefs of Naval Staff Bangladesh Navy, Vice Admiral M Farid Habib and Australia Aborginal leader.
IONS is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region. It provides an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues. At present, there are 35 member Navies, which have been geographically grouped into four sub-regions namely, South Asian Littorals, West Asian Littorals, East African Littorals and South East Asian & Australian Littorals.