Home Contact Us
Search :

Navy - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#1640, 8 February 2005
Indian Naval Diplomacy: Post Tsunami
Vijay Sakhuja
Research Fellow, Observer Research Foundation

The recent Tsunami tidal waves hit the shores of eleven Indian Ocean littoral countries namely Bangladesh, Burma, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Maldives, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Thailand. The effects were however felt across the Atlantic Ocean as far as the west coast of the United States. While Indonesia and Sri Lanka were hardest hit, Thailand and India's southeastern coast, Andaman and Nicobar Islands suffered extensive damage. Search and rescue operations have largely been completed and efforts have shifted to the task of relief/recovery/reconstruction.

Indian Naval ships, aircraft, helicopters, and personnel responded to the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean promptly. The Indian Navy deployed 32 naval ships, seven aircraft and 20 helicopters in support of five rescue, relief and reconstruction missions as part of 'Operation Madad' (Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coast), 'Operation Sea Waves' (Andaman & Nicobar Islands), 'Operation Castor' (Maldives), 'Operation Rainbow' (Sri Lanka) and 'Operation Gambhir' (Indonesia). On 26 December 2004, the day Tsunami hit the subcontinent, the Indian Navy had deployed 19 ships, four aircraft, and 11 helicopters that rushed to Maldives, Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. This speaks volumes of the efficiency and the operational readiness of the Indian Navy.

The US military has the largest presence in the area, with crucial assets like helicopters, support ships, hospital ships and organizational skills followed by India. The other naval forces present in the area include Australia, Bangladesh, UK, France, Japan, and Pakistan but on a much smaller scale. Ships from France and Japan are also on their way with relief materials and would soon be supporting the post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction work. This Tsunami relief maritime effort is perhaps the largest peacetime congregation of maritime assets barring concentration of maritime forces in the Persian Gulf in support of the US-led 1991 Gulf War and the War on Terror. The US forces once again exhibited their global commitment by dispatching men and material in support of Tsunami relief operations. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and two other navy vessels were deployed off Aceh and their helicopters transported food and relief materials to inaccessible areas, villages and creeks as also ferry the injured to hospitals. Despite this great effort by the US, regional countries remain apprehensive about US presence on their soil.

In the last few days, there have been rumblings in Jakarta, that Indonesia should not be surrendering its sovereignty to outsiders. It has now announced that all foreign troops assisting in the tsunami relief operation must leave the country by March end. It is sensitive to the thought that it was relying too heavily on foreign forces that now want to wrest control of the relief operation. Consequently, the US Marines, diverted from duty in Iraq, have scaled back their plans to send hundreds of troops ashore to build roads and the US carrier group has also left the region.

In the recent past, Indonesia and Malaysia have reacted sharply to the United States', Regional Maritime Security Initiative that aimed to deploy Marines and Special Forces troops on high-speed boats in the Malacca Straits to combat terrorism, proliferation, piracy, gun running, narcotics smuggling and human trafficking in the area. Malaysia announced that the US should get permission from regional countries as it impinged on their national sovereignty. Likewise, Indonesia too was averse to the US initiative and wanted that the US must consult regional countries before any effort to fight terrorism in Southeast Asia. Despite this disaster and catastrophe, Indonesia remains sensitive to US presence on its soil. This issue becomes more important in the light of the fact that the worst hit, Aceh region is home to the secessionist rebels at war against the Jakarta government since 1976. Regional powers are apprehensive of extra regional navies and fear that such a force could be used for coercion, compellence or a massive projection of power. ?

Unlike Indonesia, Sri Lanka has been glad to receive assistance from Indian Navy who helped in clearing Galle, Trincomalee and Colombo harbours for normal maritime operations. It has, so far, not reacted to Indian naval presence and naval activity in its harbours. This is primarily due to the Indian Navy good record of cooperation with the regional navies and is best exemplified by the several responses like the capture of PLOTE rebels that tried to overthrow the government in Maldives, capture of the pirate-hijacked ship Alondra Rainbow, seafront security of Maputo for the second African Union Summit. The international community has acknowledged India's capability and the resources. India has registered its presence in the tsunami-affected region, as a compassionate power capable of helping its neighbours needs even when its own shores are troubled. The Indian naval efforts have further exhibited its well-oiled disaster management machinery and that it was capable of assisting any regional maritime disaster crisis.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Pakistan: Crouching Democrats, Hidden Khakis
Mullah Fazlullah: Challenges to the ďEliminate or ExtraditeĒ Approach
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistanís Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Stronger Democratic Values for a Better Tomorrow
Sri Lanka and China: Towards Innovation Driven Economies
India-Sri Lanka: Strengthening Regional Cooperation
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
India-Pakistan: Working Boundaries and Lines of Uncontrolled Fire
Of Inquilab and the Inquilabis
Pakistan: Of Messiahs and Marches
Dateline Kabul
Mariam Safi
Can Afghanistan Become a "Perfect Place?"
Afghanistan: Political Crises After the Presidential Run-off
Talibanís Spring Offensive: Are the ANSF Prepared?
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
Bangladesh: Diplomatic Manoeuvres at the UNGA
Abeís Successful Visit to Dhaka: Two Political Challenges
Girl Summit Diplomacy and Bangladesh-UK Relations

Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticismís Sake?
Changing Global Balance of Power: Obamaís Response
Obama Administration: Re-engaging India
East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India in East Asia: Modiís Three Summit Meets
Modi's Visit to Japan: Gauging Inter-State Relations in Asia
North Korea: Seeking New Friends?

Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
China in Nepal: Increasing Connectivity Via Railways
India-Nepal Hydroelectricity Deal: Making it Count
Federalism and Nepal: Internal Differences
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
The ASEAN's Centrality in the Indo-Pacific Region
Myanmar's Political Transition: Challenges of the 2015 Election
South China Sea: Intransigence Over Troubled Waters

Sushant Sareen
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir
Pakistan: Why is Army against Nawaz Sharif?
Pakistan: Degraded Democracy
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Maritime Terrorism: Karachi as a Staging Point
Maritime Silk Road: Can India Leverage It?
BRICS: The Oceanic Connections

Middle Kingdom
DS Rajan
China in the Indian Ocean: Competing Priorities
China-Japan Friction: How can India Respond?
Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Musings on the Bomb

Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Naxalites and the Might of a Fragile Revolution
Six Thousand Plus Killed: The Naxal Ideology of Violence
Anti-Naxal Operations: Seeking Refuge in Symbolism
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security
Obamaís New Strategy towards the Islamic State: Implications for India
Modiís Tryst with Abe

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
War against the Islamic State: Political and Military Responses from the Region
The Islamic State: No Country for the Old World Order
India and the Conflict in Gaza
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile
Uranium and Nuclear Power: Three Indian Stories
A Strategic Review for India

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Strategic Estrangement: An Odd Bedfellow to Economic Engagement
The Islamic State Caliphate: A Mirage of Resurrection
A Covenant Sans Sword
Voice from America
Amit Gupta
Modiís US Visit: So Much Promise, Such Little Outcome
India and Australia: Beyond Curry, Cricket, and Commonwealth
And Then There is the Middle East: The Lack of an End-Game

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
Regional Economic Architecture: Is India Ready?

OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


Browse by Publications

Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Naxalite Violence 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Asia and the Seas: Looking Back to Look Forward

Indian Ocean and the IORA: Search and Rescue Operations

Pirates Prefer Energy Cargo

Maritime Terrorism: Karachi as a Staging Point

Xi Jinping and the Maritime Silk Road: The Indian Dilemma

Drug Smuggling across the Indian Ocean: Impact of Increasing Interceptions

Maritime Silk Road: Can India Leverage It?

Indian Ocean: Multilateralism Takes Root

BRICS: The Oceanic Connections

India-EU: Exploring Maritime Convergences

Rim of the Pacific Exercises (RIMPAC): Thaw in China-US Tensions?

Indian Ocean Navies: Lessons from the Pacific

The Oman Gas Pipeline: Indiaís Underwater Energy Supply Chain

Oman's Duqm Port and US Exit from Afghanistan

Search and Rescue at Sea: Challenges and Chinese Capabilities

Increasing Maritime Competition: IORA, IONS, Milan and the Indian Ocean Networks

The Maritime Silk Route and the Chinese Charm Offensive

China in the Indian Ocean: Deep Sea Forays

Antarctica and the Ice breakers: What should India prepare for?

Iran Navy: Developing Long Sea Legs

India, Sri Lanka & Maldives: A Maritime Troika Leads the Way

China and Russia: The Joint Sea 2013 Exercise

India and China in the Arctic: Breaching the Monopoly

P-3C vs. P-8I: India, Pakistan and the Naval Balance

Myanmar: Expanding Naval Ties with India

Y! MyWeb
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2014
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November
 2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006
 2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999  1998

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map | IPCS Email
B 7/3 Lower Ground Floor, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi 110029, INDIA.
Tel: 91-11-4100 1900, 4165 2556, 4165 2557, 4165 2558, 4165 2559 Fax: (91-11) 41652560
© Copyright 2014, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
        Web Design by http://www.indiainternets.com