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Vice Admiral Anil Chawla meets top leadership of Lankan defence

COLOMBO (PTI): Indian Navy's Vice Admiral Anil Chawla has met commanders of the Sri Lankan Navy and Air Force as the navies of the two countries are holding a four-day joint training exercise to boost defence cooperation and interoperability.

Vice Admiral Chawla, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command (SNC) called on Commanders of the Sri Lanka Navy, Nishantha Ulugetenne, and the Air Force, SK Pathirana, and met Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colombage, the Indian High Commission in Colombo tweeted on Tuesday.

He also interacted with NDC (Sri Lanka National Defence College) faculty and participated in the Indian Navy Trainee Alumni get together to strengthen the bonds of friendship, the mission tweeted.

"Paid homage to the martyrs of #IPKF," the high commission's tweet added.

The Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was an Indian military contingent deployed in Sri Lanka between 1987 and 1990 to perform peacekeeping operations during the island nation's brutal civil war between the government military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

In a photograph, Chawla was seen saluting at a memorial for fallen IPKF soldiers.

Six ships of the Indian Navy's first training squadron arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday for a four-day training and bilateral defence exercise.

The visiting Indian ships are part of the Southern Naval Command (SNC), which is the Training Command of the Indian Navy and is headed by Vice Admiral Chawla.

The Indian Navy has been imparting training to international trainees for more than four decades now. A large number of officers and sailors from Sri Lanka are undergoing various ab-initio to advanced courses at the SNC.

During the visit, various training activities have taken place and more are planned with the aim to enhance interoperability of the two forces.

A total of 75 officers, 153 officer cadets, 10 NCC cadets and 530 sailors form part of the visit.

The ships are scheduled to leave on October 27 and 28.

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