Indian Army Chief General Naravane to reach Sri Lanka on 12 October


Colombo: Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane will arrive here on Tuesday on a five-day goodwill visit at the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart General Shavendra Silva. The Sri Lankan Army gave this information on Monday.

During his visit, General Naravane is expected to call on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Sri Lankan Army said on Wednesday General Naravane would be honored in an elegantly designed special Guard of Honor salute with a colorful guard turnout plus a colorful guard at the Army Headquarters.

On Thursday, he will witness the final performance of the ongoing bilateral exercise ‘Mitra Shakti’ at the Maduru Oya Special Forces Training School in the east.

India and Sri Lanka last week began a 12-day mega military exercise with a focus on enhancing counter-terrorism cooperation at the Combat Training School in Ampara, the island country’s eastern district.

The eighth edition of exercise ‘Mitra Shakti’ from October 4 to 15 began with the participation of an all-weapons contingent of 120 Indian Army personnel under the chairmanship of Col. Prakash Kumar.

The Sri Lanka Army said that the joint military exercise is designed to enhance understanding of international counter-terrorism, interoperability skills, conduct of joint strategic operations, sharing of each other’s best practices and experiences.

The annual training programme, which has contributed extensively to strengthening the bonds of bilateral military cooperation, understanding and neighborly ties between the two services, takes place alternately in India or Sri Lanka every year.

General Naravane, who is leading a five-member delegation, is expected to pay floral tributes to the war heroes of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) at the memorial here.

He served in the IPKP in the north and east of Sri Lanka from 1987–1990.

Gen Naravane’s visit will come a week after Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla’s visit to Sri Lanka and meeting the country’s top leadership underscored the importance of India expeditiously pursuing mutually beneficial projects.

Shringla also thanked President Rajapaksa for his guidance and close cooperation in the defense and security sector.

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