At the invitation of the Defense Secretary of India, Shri G Mohan Kumar, Secretary to the Ministry of Defense of Sri Lanka Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi undertook an official visit to India on September 21 to participate at the third Indo – Sri Lanka Defense Dialogue held in New Delhi.
Since its inception in 2012, the Annual Indo – Sri Lanka Defense Dialogue reviews the entire gamut of Defense Cooperation between the two countries while expanding its horizon into new areas of interests. During interactions, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense emphasized the importance placed by President Maithripala Sirisena on enhancing the Defense and Security ties between the two countries.
Both sides further discussed on various issues of mutual interest, and agreed on the necessity of continuing an active cooperation on Defense and security matters with a view of addressing common concerns and challenges for the establishment of security, peace and stability in the region.
It was also mutually agreed that significant progress had been achieved since the 2nd Defense Dialogue held in Colombo (October 2014) including the successful conclusion of Staff-Talks between the respective Armed Forces, and the holding of the inaugural Staff-Talks between the Coast Guard Departments of both countries. Enhancement of bilateral ties in the areas of Training, Military and Defense Exchanges, Joint Exercises and Maritime Domain Awareness and assistance to the Sri Lanka Navy on the supply of off-shore patrol vessels, were some of the areas among others that were taken up for discussion.
During the visit, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense also paid a courtesy call on the Minister of State for Defense of India, Rao Inderjit Singh and also met the Indian National Security Advisor Dr. Ajit K Doval.
The visiting Sri Lankan delegation was comprised of high-ranking officials including the Acting High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India MRK Lenagala, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Lt. Gen. AWJC De Silva, Deputy Chief of Staff and Commander Eastern Naval area of the Sri Lanka Navy Rear Admiral NBJ Rosayro, Air Vice Marshal CR Gurusinghe of Sri Lanka Air Force, Director General of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard Department Rear Admiral GDAS Wimalathunga, Senior Assistant Secretary (Foreign Affairs) of the Ministry of Defence Ms. Sashikala Premawardhane and Defense Advisor to the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi Captain WHUP Hewage.