New Delhi, Mar 4: Visiting Sri Lankan Army Chief, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, who is on a six-day visit to India to strengthen military ties between the two countries, today said both countries enjoy a sound military relationship. "Militarily we have very good relationships for long time and we hope to continue relationships that we are having right now. We are very happy with that," Lt General Fonseka told media persons after being presented a Guard of Honour outside the Defense Ministry.
Defence Ministry officials had earlier said that India would like to ensure that the Lankan Army retains its edge over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to enable the Sri Lanka Government to come out with a devolution package acceptable to the Tamil minority in that country. Lt. Gen. Fonseka, who is accompanied by Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa, pledged to defeat the LTTE at the earliest. The Lankan Army is presently engaged in intense battles against the LTTE in northern Sri Lanka. According to sources, the Sri Lankan Government expects help from the international community to contain the rebel group. The visit by the Sri Lankan Army Chief comes in the wake of the island nation increasingly looking at China and Pakistan for weapons supply in the face of India's reluctance to provide it with sophisticated arms.