India and Sri Lanka discuss stronger defence cooperation during Indian Air Chief’s visit

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, who is visiting Sri Lanka at the invitation of his counterpart Air Marshal SK Pathirana, met the country’s top political and military leadership in Colombo on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 2-3, 2023).

Discussions at these meetings centred around boosting the existing bonds of friendship between the Armed Forces. The senior Sri Lankan defence officers lauded India’s assistance in 2022 as also the ongoing support, according to information provided by the Indian High Commission in Colombo.

In addition to the Commander of the Sri Lankan Air Force, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari met Sri Lankan State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, Defence Secretary General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne, Chief of Defence Staff General Shavendra Silva, and Commander of Sri Lanka Army Lt. Gen Vikum Liyanage. He also called on President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

“ACM VR Chaudhari #CAS @IAF_MCC
met @defenceSL Secretary Gen.(Retd) Kamal Gunaratne,Chief of Defence Staff Gen @SilvaShavendra and Commander @Sri_Lanka_Army Lt. Gen VikumLiyanage. The senior defence officers of Sri Lanka lauded India’s assistance in 2022 as also the ongoing support,” the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka tweeted.

“Meaningful discussions to boost existing bonds of friendship between the Armed Forces took place in these meetings,” the High Commission added.

The bilateral talks assured IAF’s steadfast commitment to Sri Lanka at all times when India is called upon, the Indian Air Force said in a separate tweet.

India and Sri Lanka have maintained strong defence cooperation for decades, with India playing a crucial role in enhancing Sri Lanka’s defence capabilities through military training, intelligence sharing, and technical assistance.

In recent years, the defence partnership has deepened, with both nations engaging in joint military exercises and exchanging high-level visits between defence officials.

India and Sri Lanka are also founding members, along with the Maldives, of the Colombo Security Conclave. Founded in 2011, it is a trilateral security cooperation framework for the Indian Ocean Region. Mauritius became the forum’s fourth member during the 5th Colombo Security Conclave Meeting in Male, Maldives in March 2022.

(India News Network)

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