India reiterates priority accorded to relations with Sri Lanka

India today reiterated the priority it has accorded to its relations with Sri Lanka.

The High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay called on Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena today.

The High Commissioner congratulated the Speaker on assuming the high office and safe and successful conduct of general elections.

In the cordial discussions, the High Commissioner emphasised the high priority accorded by India to strengthen multifarious and age-old civilisational ties between the two countries, including through Parliamentary exchanges, people-to-people relations trade and investment and development cooperation in accordance with requirements and priorities of the government and people of Sri Lanka, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.

Meanwhile, a virtual experts’ level interaction through Webinar was organised between the Indian Army and Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps today.

The aim of the Webinar was to discuss Standard Operating Procedures, best practices and issues concerning COVID management by both the Armies with special focus on “Force Protection and Preservation Measures”.

The Webinar was inaugurated by Lt Gen AK Hooda, Director General of Medical Services (Indian Army) wherein he complimented the success achieved by Sri Lanka Armed Forces in handling the COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka.

The DGMS (Indian Army) also brought out that to effectively deal with and contain the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that countries, especially in neighbourhood join hands.

The event was graced by the presence of Maj Gen (Dr) SH Munasinghe, Secretary of Health, Government of Sri Lanka.

The Secretary in his address emphasised the importance of such platforms to share best practices and knowledge so as to tackle this global pandemic effectively. The Secretary also brought out that spread of pandemic has been kept under check in Sri Lanka owing to foresight and proactive steps initiated by the Government under the guidance of the Sri Lankan President.

The event also had the participation of expert teams from both sides wherein the discussion included aspects of containment, management and mitigation measures specific to the region and as evolved by the respective Armed Forces. In addition, issues about the evolving trends of the pandemic and steps taken to ensure future management were also discussed.

India and Sri Lanka enjoy a strong and growing defence relationship pillared on extensive training and close linkages between the militaries. Both Armed Forces have been striving hard to learn from each other in the fields of anti terrorism operations, exchange of information, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts etc. (Colombo Gazette)