Shringla begins Sri Lanka visit

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Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement said Sri Lanka occupies a central place in India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy…reports Asian Lite News.

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla who is on a four-day official trip to Sri Lanka, on Sunday began his visit to the island nation by seeking blessings at Sri Dalada Maligawa, a Buddhist temple located at Kandy in Sri Lanka.

The Foreign Secretary has arrived in Sri Lanka at the invitation of the island nation’s Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage.

In the course of his four-day visit, Foreign Secretary Shringla on Sunday travelled to Oil Tank Farms at Trincomalee where officials briefed him about the development undertaken at the Lower Tank Farms and the possibilities for further strengthening of India-Sri Lanka energy partnership.

Talking about this development, the Indian High Commission tweeted: “Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla visited the Oil Tank Farms at Trincomalee today. LIOC briefed him about the development undertaken at the Lower Tank Farms and the possibilities for further strengthening India-Sri Lanka energy partnership to enhance Sri Lanka’s energy security.”

Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement said Sri Lanka occupies a central place in India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.

Foreign Secretary Shringla’s visit signifies the importance both countries attach to strengthening their close and cordial relations in all spheres of mutual interest.

The visit will provide an opportunity to review the two countries’ bilateral ties, progress of ongoing bilateral projects and ongoing cooperation to tackle Covid related disruptions.

India, Sri Lanka to begin joint military exercise

India and Sri Lanka will carry out a 12-day military exercise from Monday with a focus on improving counter-insurgency and counter-terror cooperation. The defence ministry has said that an all arms contingent of 120 personnel of the Indian Army will participate in the exercise along with a battalion-strength contingent of the Sri Lankan Army. “The aim of the exercise is to promote close relations between armies of both countries and enhance inter-operability and sharing best practices in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations,” the statement said.

The eighth edition of the Mitra Shakti exercise will be conducted at Combat Training School in Sri Lanka’s Ampara from October 4-15, the defence ministry said in a statement on Saturday. The Indian Army contingent reached Sri Lanka on Sunday to participate in the Mitra Shakti exercise. “Exercise #MitraShakti21. #IndianArmy contingent participating in Exercise Mitra Shakti 21 reached Sri Lanka and received a traditional welcome by the Sri Lankan Army,” the Indian Army tweeted on Sunday.

The joint exercise is designed for incorporating the current dynamics of United Nations’ peacekeeping operations through tactical exercises and practical discussions, the defence ministry has said. The ministry informed that the exercise will involve tactical level operations at the sub-unit level in an international counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism environment and will go a long way in further strengthening the relationship between both nations. It will act as a catalyst in bringing synergy and cooperation at the grass-root level between both armies, the ministry also said.

The seventh edition was conducted in Pune in December 2019 at Foreign Training Node located at the Aundh Military Station. In that edition, a contingent from the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army and the Gemunu Watch infantry regiment of Sri Lanka participated. The contingents received lessons in perception management and information warfare, human rights and humanitarian law, along with the counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism (CI-CT) operations in urban and rural environments. (India News Network)

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