Colombo Security Conclave-IR(9th April) - Sleepy Classes IAS Skip to main content

Colombo Security Conclave-IR(9th April)

By April 9, 2022May 22nd, 2023GS 2, International Relations

 International Relation

Colombo Security Conclave


About Colombo Security Conclave

  • Established in 2011 as a trilateral grouping consisting of India, Sri Lanka and Maldives for collaborating on collective maritime security issues.
  • The CSC is moving towards expansion and greater institutionalization.
  • This has been evident from the most recent iteration of the grouping where Mauritius was welcomed as the fourth member.
  • CSC is further projected to expand with the inclusion of Seychelles and Bangladesh in its future iterations.
  • The trilateral meeting was restarted in 2020 after a hiatus from 2014 to 2019.
  • The decision to launch the Colombo Security Conclave was made during this gathering in 2020. (CSC).


CSC Rejuvenated in 2020

  • The three countries decided to broaden their base collaboration during the NSA level conference in November 2020.
  • It was decided to broaden the coverage to
  • Terrorism,
  • Radicalization
  • Illegal narcotics, weapons, and people trafficking
  • Money laundering.
  • Cyber security
  • Impact of climate change on the maritime environment.

5 Pillars of CSC

  • Maritime security
  • Counter-terrorism
  • Combating transnational Crime
  • Cyber security
  • Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR)

Intelligence Sharing

  • In 2020, it was agreed that a biennial Deputy NSA level working group meeting is necessary to ensure efficient implementation of decisions
  • The three countries had participated in the 5th Deputy National Security Advisors (NSA) – level meeting of Colombo Security Conclave on 04 August 2021.
  • In this summit the three countries agreed to expand the scope of intelligence sharing
  • Deputy NSA-level meeting this week identified “four pillars” of cooperation.
  • The initiative, grounded in military and security collaboration, assumes significance in the region.
  • This is in the wake of the current geostrategic dynamic that India shares with Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
  • In March 2021, a secretariat was established in Colombo.

Recent Developments

  • The Delhi-driven “minilateral” is being seen as India’s outreach to the Indian Ocean to underline regional co-operation and shared security objectives.
  • Our national security is deeply intertwined with our collective security aspirations in this region.
  • Our geographical proximity allows us to be first responders for each other in crisis situations.
  • Maldives Defence Minister, described the CSC as the “region’s 911”
  •  In this way, the CSC hopes to restrict China’s influence in an area of strategic importance, and to reduce the Chinese footprint in the member countries.
  • NSA Ajit K Doval proposed that heads of the Coast Guards of the four member countries meet to discuss ways to address shared maritime security challenges.
  • This was the 5th NSA level Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) meeting held in Maldives in March 2022.

Focused Operation

  • India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka on Sunday, November 28, 2021, concluded a two-day maritime operation in the Indian Ocean region.
  • Ships and aircraft of the navies of the three countries participated in the maiden ‘Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) Focused Operation.
  • This was aimed at keeping the vital part of the Indian Ocean safe and secure for commercial shipping, international trade and conduct of legitimate maritime activities.
  • These operations will facilitate the institution of measures to prevent transnational crimes in the region.

Table Top Exercise, 2021

  • The two-day exercise, TTX-2021, from July 14 to July 15 2021.
  • Top Defence officials from India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives participated in a virtual trilateral table top exercise.
  • The exercise focused on maritime crimes like curbing narcotics and assistance in maritime search and rescue in the region.
  • The exercise gains additional relevance in light of the successful Operation Sagar Aaraksha 2.
  • This was executed in support of MV X-Press Pearl, the Singapore-flagged cargo ship that caught fire in May 2021.
  • Cargo ship MV X-Press Pearl was carrying 1,486 containers of chemicals and cargo when it went up in flames near the Colombo Port.
  • The strenuous joint efforts of the ICG ships and Sri Lankan authorities’ deployed tugs resulted in extinguishing the fire

Way Forward

  • The CSC has the potential to succeed but it risks being splintered if India focuses more on creating an anti-China group.
  • An attempt to mould the CSC into an institution to counter China’s influence would meet the fate of SAARC which is regarded as a total failure.
  • To avoid points of contention with its neighbours, India should start to accept that the IOR is developing into a “global commons.”
  • For a long time New Delhi has been critical of other major powers attempting to have a presence there.
  • Countries such as Sri Lanka and Maldives, which are more poised to balance between India and China, will not risk converting the CSC into an India’s coalition against China


1. Which of the Following Statements is Correct?

  1. Coastguards of the India, Sri Lanka & Maldives have been participating in the biennial exercise “Dosti” regularly since 2012.
  2. The Exercise “Dosti” was originally launched in 1991 as a bilateral exercise between India and Sri Lanka.
  3. Maldives joined this grouping in 2012.
  4. Exercise “Dosti” enhances interoperability between the three countries, it does not directly come under the CSC.

A.     1,3

B.       2,3,4

C.      1,4

D.     All of the above


5th NSA level meeting hosted by the Republic of Maldives was held on March 9 and 10, 2022