IAF chief in Lanka to deepen military ties, pays homage toIPKF

Colombo, Jan 17 (PTI) Indian Air Force Chief, AirChief Marshal P V Naik today paid homage to the troops of the1987 IPKF operation who made the ultimate sacrifice battlingthe LTTE rebels in Sri Lanka, as part of his four-day visithere to deepen military ties with Colombo.

Air Chief Marshal Naik paid floral tributes at alandmark monument built near Sri Lanka''s parliamentary complexto honour 1,200 IPKF soldiers who died during the fightingwith LTTE as part of the 1987 Indo-Lanka Peace Accord aimed atresolving the ethnic crisis in the country.

The Indian air chief received a red carpet welcome anda guard of honour at the air force headquarters, where he methis counterpart Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonatilake today.

Later he was briefed on the role and task of the SriLanka air force, officials said.

During his stay, the Air Force Chief will have severalmeetings with top officials of the government and the defenceestablishment, including the powerful Defence SecretaryGotabhaya Rajapksha and service chiefs tomorrow in a bid todeepen military ties between the two neighbours.

Indian Air Chief is scheduled to call on presidentMahinda Rajapksha and External Affairs Minister Prof.G.

L.Pieris tomorrow.

He will also visit Sri Lanka Air Force base atKatunayake, the home of Sri Lanka''s fighter jet squadron PTICORR

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