Colombo, October 7: An Indian Army Trainees Alumni Interaction was organized by the High Commission of India on Octobe 4. The event was attended by many senior serving and retired officers of Sri Lanka Army, who were trained in Indian Army training institutes including the Chief Guest General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defenca Staff (CDS) and Lt Gen Vikum Liyanage, Commander of Sri Lanka Army.
The event celebrated the enduring bonds of cooperation, camaraderie and friendship between the Armies of the two countries.
High Commissioner Gopal Baglay highlighted that India stands committed to helping Sri Lanka in capacity building, in line with India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ Policy. He stressed that India continued to offer training for Sri Lanka Armed forces even in challenging times. He noted that training engagements between the Armed Forces have instilled a spirit of brotherhood and interoperability amongst the services. Further, engagements of this nature underscore the need for nurturing strong relations with Indian Army Trainee Alumni in Sri Lanka.
Addressing the gathering, CDS Ge.Silva gratefully commended the efforts of the High Commissioner in connecting the two countries as friendly, mutually-respecting and caring neighbors. He said that India has always been a pillar of strength in training of Sri Lankan Armed forces personnel and shares strong cultural, demographical and behavioral similarities, as a friendly neighbor. He expressed his gratitude for the fully fledged, funded, and comprehensive training opportunities offered by India.
Training is the strongest and most enduring pillar of bilateral defense cooperation between India and Sri Lanka. The Indian and Sri Lankan Armed Forces share critical bilateral training linkages, with the Indian Defense Forces’ training institutes, offering the largest share of nearly 1500 training vacancies annually to Sri Lanka. The trainees are provided assistance under the Special Aid Programme (SAP) of the Government of India. The quality training imparted to Sri Lankan personnel in India has contributed immensely towards a mission-ready and cohesive Sri Lanka Armed Forces.