The Chief of India's Andaman-Nicobar Command, Lieutenant General Naresh Marwan, paid a courtesy visit on the governor at Provincial Hall in Phuket City this morning.
The men exchanged pleasantries. When Governor Tri asked a question about ''refugees'' that lead to the issue of Rohingya boatpeople being raised, an aide among the Indian delegation spoke up to say the issue was a government-to-government one, not a navy-to-navy issue.
It is believed about 200 Rohingya who survived the ''push-backs'' by the military (not the Thai Navy) in 2009 are still being held in detention on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
While the conversation today did not deal with the boatpeople, it's certain that the would-be refugees would be discussed in talks between the two navies.
More boats are reported to have followed the three vessels from northern Burma or Bangladesh already intercepted and ''helped on'' to destinations outside Thailand this sailing season.
The growing presence of China in the Indian Ocean would be another issue of mutual concern. It was the thirteenth joint exercise, the gathering heard.
Governor Tri is to join Lieutenant General Marwan for dinner tomorrow night, with the Indian Ambassador to Thailand also a special guest.
The Indian Navy vessel is moored off Cape Panwa, on Phuket's east coast, where the Thai Navy has a base. It sails on Thursday.
The two navies engage in joint patrols every six months. Lieutenant General Marwan said that he was impressed with Phuket on his first visit, and enjoyed a FantaSea show in Kamala last night.
''Next time I will come with my family on a longer holiday,'' he said.
The governor said that more Indian visitors were choosing to come to Phuket, with some getting married here and others entering amicably into business. Governor Tri visited India last year.
''We have no problems whatsoever in the south Andaman Sea,'' Lieutenant General Marwan said. The Andaman and Nicobar group is inviting 14 countries to attend the annual festival from February 1-5.