India offers to modernise Lankan army

Colombo, Dec 1: India has offered technical and training assistance to Sri Lanka to modernise its military to tackle emerging security threats, including cyber attacks.

Indian Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, who is on a four-day visit to Sri Lanka, offered the assistance during a meeting he held with his Sri Lankan counterpart Lieutenant General Crishantha De Silva here yesterday.

Dalbir Singh Suhag

"Gen Dalbir Singh highlighted the importance of modernising the Sri Lankan Army to suit international standards and to be geared to meet different types of emerging threats, including cyber attacks," according to a statement issued by the Lankan army.

The Lankan Army Chief had "requested the Indian Army to explore possibilities of new areas of training," and Gen Suhag agreed to "broaden the areas of training," the statement said.

The two military chiefs during the meeting discussed current security issues in the region and stressed the need to resolve them in an amicable manner with exchange of vital information. The talks also focused on ongoing training modules that are relevant to the two armies.

Gen Suhag assured support for continuance of training programmes, spearheaded by the Sri Lanka Army, and they agreed to broaden those horizons in the near future.

They recalled the "historic relations that have existed between two nations for generations and memories during the 1987 deployment of the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka".

General Suhag incidentally had served as a young Company Commander in the IPKF, sent to Sri Lanka to oversee the ground implementation of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord between the then leaders Rajiv Gandhi and JR Jayawardene.

The visit assumes special significance in light of increasing defence cooperation between the two countries.

In recent years, the Indo-Sri Lanka relationship has been marked by high-level bilateral exchanges in various fields.

Defence cooperation between the two countries has been characterised by mutual training exercises, exchanges at functional level, cooperation in maritime security and humanitarian assistance.


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