This is something to keep a close eye on.
A locally built Fast Attack Craft (FAC) of the Navy came under a sea mine attack off Kokilai in the North-Eastern waters around 2.25 a.m. yesterday, Navy spokesperson Commander D. K. P. Dassanayake said.
Commander Dassanayake told the Sunday Observer that the Fast Attack Craft was caught in a LTTE sea mine while it was engaged in a routine sea patrol along with another FAC off Kokilai in the North-Eastern waters around 2.25 a.m. yesterday.
"The second FAC which was in the vicinity rushed to the scene and rescued six sailors including the skipper of the vessel when the explosion occurred. Sixteen sailors were on board at the time the FAC came under attack.
A search for the other ten sailors is being carried out by Navy vessels," Commander Dassanayake said.
If the Sea Tigers have developed or imported Sea Mines, this could tilt the balance of power in the ongoing insurgency. MIW is cheap, but it is also indiscriminate, and could spill over to commercial shipping heading in and out of India. That would change the nature of the conflict at sea in Sri Lanka to one of an isolated insurgency at sea to one where major regional powers, like India and potentially NATO, are forced to get involved to secure the global commons.
MIW is no joke, serious business at sea and very difficult to clear. This is a development that is hopefully isolated, and doesn't mark the beginning of a trend.