13th October 2021 12:58:03 Hours
Seeking to give a fillip to existing bilateral military ties, the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army, General Manoj Mukund Naravane, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC who is in Sri Lanka now at the invitation of his Sri Lanka’s counterpart, General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army arrived at the Army Headquarters this morning (13) to a grand red carpet welcome.
The visit assumes significance in light of India’s persistent efforts to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship and military cooperation based on mutual interests and understanding.
Military salutes, including a Guard Turnout and a Guard of Honour formally saluted General Manoj Mukund Naravane, Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army whose participation in the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka in the past is regarded as one of the defining moments of his distinguished career.
A colour-rich Guard of Honour, accorded by Sri Lanka Light Infantry troops presented arms and saluted the visiting Army Chief in accordance with military traditions after a Guard Turnout greeted him soon after his arrival at the entrance to the premises. After the Adjutant General, Major General Sanjaya Wanasinghe welcomed him at the entrance, he was invited to receive the honours. The Parade Commander afterwards reported and invited the visiting Indian Army Chief, to review the Guard of Honour before he took the salute as soothing patriotic melodies rent the air.
Afterwards, at the entrance to the Commander’s Secretariat, senior Army officers, including the Chief of Staff, Major General Priyantha Perera, Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Sampath Kotuwegoda and all other Principal Staff Officers were introduced to the visiting four-star General Manoj Mukund Naravane as a formality.
During the cordial meeting that ensued, both General Manoj Mukund Naravane and General Shavendra Silva recalled the historic relations that have nurtured between two nations for generations and memories during the 1987 deployment of IPKF in Sri Lanka, in which General Mukund Naravane served as one of the ground commanders at that time to fight against LTTE terrorism. He also refreshed his past memories during the IPKF service commitments in LTTE violence-affected areas in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaittivu and the Wanni.
Both military chiefs during the cordial meet at the Commander’s office shared views on current issues and stressed the need to resolve them in an amicable manner with exchange of vital information, intelligence, etc. General Manoj Mukund Naravane highlighted the importance of modernizing both military organizations to suit international standards to be geared to meet with different types of emerging threats, including cyber attacks, etc. General Shavendra Silva also thanked the Indian Army for continued assistance and participation in conduct of bilateral Field Training Exercises and training modules, being awarded to the Sri Lanka Army for career progression.
Talks also focused on the ongoing ‘Mithra Shakti’ training Exercise where both armies are engaged. The visiting Indian Army Chief also assured support for continuity of training programmes and both of them mutually agreed to broaden those horizons in the near future. While expressing willingness to further foster friendly defence ties with Sri Lanka, General Manoj Mukund Naravane also offered his Army’s technical assistance for upgrading of military requirements in the Sri Lanka Army.
The friendly meeting at the Commander’s office, attended by the members of the Indian delegation culminated with exchange of symbolic mementoes between both Army Chiefs. The visiting General Manoj Mukund Naravane added memories and cordial compliments to the VIP book at the Commander’s office.
Minutes after his exit from the Commander's Office, the visiting Indian Army Chief and his counterpart, General Shavendra Silva made a joint statement to the Media before the Indian Army Chief proceeded to the Ministry of Defence.