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India underscores the diversification of bilateral cooperation with Sri Lanka 

India has underlined the increasing diversification of India-Sri Lanka bilateral cooperation across domains, including in security and defence matters.

High Commissioner of India Santosh Jha emphasised that the security of India and Sri Lanka is interlinked and intertwined because of geography.

Indian High Commissioner was speaking at a Seminar on Defence Cooperation with the theme “identifying new opportunities and forging new bonds” to promote Indian made defence equipment and explore avenues for collaboration in defence production on at Taj Samudra, Colombo on Wednesday10   

India’s defence exports today stand at nearly 2.6 billion US Dollars, a ten-fold increase over the past five years. 

High Commissioner stated that the seminar was another platform to explore ways of extending India’s increasing capabilities in the defence sector to Sri Lanka.

State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon lauded the growth of Indian defence industry, and said that the seminar would facilitate collaboration between two countries contributing to stable Indian Ocean Region.

The Minister stated that the procurement of cost effective and tailor made products from India in the last decade had helped protect Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

He emphasized that collaboration and joint R&D with Indian defence industries would also lead to country’s economic revival. The Minister also thanked Government of India for standing by Sri Lanka in the times of crisis.

  Addressing the gathering Additional Secretary (DP), Shri Anurag Bajpai described Sri Lanka as India’s priority partner and reassured that India stands committed towards ensuring capacity and capability building of Sri Lanka Armed Forces as part of PM Modi’s vision of SAGAR (Security and  And Growth for All in the Region).

 He highlighted the common security challenges faced in the Indian Ocean Region and called for enhanced collaboration to create a safer environment. 

He shared Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’s, self-reliant India’s upward trajectory in establishing robust R&D and indigenous manufacturing ecosystems, while fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

It may be recalled that a similar Defence Seminar cum Exhibition was previously conducted on 07 June 2023 at Sri Lanka. 

Sri Lanka Armed forces have been successfully operating a range of Indian defence equipment like L-70 guns, Indra Radar, Offshore Patrol Vessels and Army training simulators. 

More recently the GoI has committed supply of Floating Dock, Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre and Dornier aircraft which would ensure capacity building of Sri Lanka Armed Forces. 

The Seminar was yet another reaffirmation of India’s commitment to building capacities for Sri Lanka, in line with the Neighbourhood First Policy.

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