2. INDONESIA: The Indonesian government has agreed to install seven radars provided by the US in the Makassar Strait to support security efforts in the major sea lane, as of 22 Jan 08 reporting. Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono stated the installation of seven radars is meant to support ASEAN maritime defense and security. He explained that the US government is committed to helping Indonesia build its capacity to secure its waters by providing the surveillance radars. He also stated that the security of the Sea Lines of Communication in the Asia and Pacific region is a matter of vital importance to its users. The US previously providedIndonesia with five surveillance radars that were set up along the Malacca Strait to support security (ANTARA News).
3. SRI LANKA: The Sri Lankan Navy has put in place “underwater defense system” or
mines, between Kachchatheevu and Neduntheevu (Deft Island) as part of efforts to prevent Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) activities from crossing into Indian territorial waters, per 23 Jan 08 reporting. The Sri Lankan Navy asked the Indian Navy to warn Tamil Nadu fishermen against crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) for safety reasons. A copy of the message was reportedly forwarded to all concerned authorities. Local Indian fishermen raised the concern that they could not always identify the IMBL and distinguish between Indian and Sri Lankan waters. They claimed that the sea between Kachchatheevu and Neduntheevu is their “traditional” fishing ground (LM: The Hindu, Time of India).
2. SOUTH CHINA SEA: Container ship (AL MUTANABBI) reported suspicious approach
27 Nov 07 at 1430 local time, while underway in position 06:46.0N-107:50.0E, approximately 120NM North of Pulau Laut, Indonesia, per 02 Jan 08 reporting. Two small wooden boats were spotted about 4NM on the starboard side of the ship. The boats appeared to be moving on a course that would narrowly cross the vessel’s bow. The boats were blue in color, about six to eight meters long and powered by outboard motors. A total of five men were on board the two boats. One of the boats suddenly altered its course towards the portside of the vessel, and appeared to close in the on the vessel from its port bow. The ship master took evasive measures to prevent boarding, and the boats eventually moved away. The incident was reported to the
Vietnam Marine Police (ReCAAP).
6. INDONESIA: Tug (MAKMUR ABADI-I) towing barge (MAKMUR ABADI-V) hijacked, 23 Dec 07, near Bilang-Bilangan Island, off East Kalimantan coast. While sailing from Tanjung Redep, East Kalimantan, to Surabaya East Java with a cargo of crude palm oil, the tug and barge were stopped by seven men in a speedboat. The pirates were armed with sharp weapons and overpowered the skipper and crew and locked them in a cabin. The pirates repainted the tug and barge (OCEAN LINE-1) and (OCEAN LINE 2) respectively, then steered the vessels toward Labuan, Malaysia. The Indonesian Naval patrol vessel (KRI SUTEDI SENAPUTERA-878) was patrolling the Ambalat region when it chased and eventually intercepted the pirated vessels. The pirates were arrested and taken to the Tarakan naval base in East Kalimantan. From there, they would later be transferred to Surabaya to undergo a judicial process (LM: ANTARA News).