Strengthening bilateral maritime ties; Indian Navy chief on a 4-day visit to Sri Lankatext_fields
Colombo: In a bid to strengthen the bilateral maritime ties between the two countries, India's Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral R. Hari Kumar is on a 4-day visit to Sri Lanka. A meeting with Srilankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and Minister of State for Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon is scheduled during his visit.
He arrived in Colombo on Monday, on an invitation by Sri Lankan Navy Commander, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne was recieved by his Sri Lankan counterpart Rear Admiral Priyantha Perera.
During his visit, the CNS also is slated to meet Defence Secretary, Chief of Defence Staff and Service Commanders and will also be the chief guest at the passing out parade of Naval and Maritime Academy, Trincomalee, on Thursday, Indian High Commission in Colombo stated.
"The visit of CNS symbolises strong relations and close cooperation between the two countries, with Sri Lanka being accorded the status of 'Priority One' partner by India," the statement said.
"It would strengthen the existing bilateral maritime relations between the two countries and areas of common security concern and enhancing capacity and capability building initiatives towards ensuring peace in the region would be discussed during the visit.
"The visit is also indicative of the growing camaraderie and friendship between the two nations in line with India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy," the Mission added.
Indigenous Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri was also scheduled to make port call at Colombo on Tuesday to complement the visit of the CNS.
The ship would engage in training with Sri Lanka Navy and participate in Maritime Partnership Exercises, the High Commission stated.
The Indian Navy shared close interactions with Sri Lanka Navy during annual exercise SLINEX 21 in March in addition to providing a maritime reconnaissance aircraft to the Sri Lankan Air Force in August to augment its maritime capabilities.
The Indian Navy is also providing customised and specialised training to its Sri Lankan counterparts, including in marine technology.