The security of India and Sri Lanka is enhanced by mutual understanding, mutual
trust and cooperation, the Indian envoy Gopal Baghlay said as India handed over
a Dornier Maritime surveillance aircraft to the Sri Lanka Navy to further boost
bilateral defense partnership.
Sri Lankan President Ranil
Wickremesinghe was present at the handover ceremony.
The ceremony took place just
before the Chinese spy ship got berthed in Hambantota port
Vice Chief of Indian Navy Vice
Admiral S N Ghormade, who is on a two-day visit to the island nationy,
accompanied by Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Gopal Baglay handed over the
maritime surveillance aircraft to the Sri Lanka Navy at the Sri Lanka Airforce
base in Katunayake adjoining the Colombo international airport.
"Security of India and
Srilanka is enhanced by mutual understanding, mutual trust and cooperation.
Gifting of Dornier 228 is India's latest contribution to this cause," High
Commissioner Baglay said at the handing over event.
"Like fruits of other
areas of cooperation with India, the gift of Dornier to @airforcelk is of
relevance to and a step to meet its requirements for maritime safety and
security. It is an example of India's strength adding to the strength of its
friends," the Indian high Commissiner said.
The aircraft is being provided to Sri Lanka from the inventory of the
Indian Navy to help the country meet its
immediate security requirement, sources in New Delhi said.
The Indian Navy has already
provided extensive training to a team from Sri Lanka's Navy and the Air Force
to operate the maritime surveillance aircraft.
"Sri Lanka has been a key
partner of India and we will continue to expand our bilateral defence
cooperation in the months and years to come," a senior official said in
New Delhi on condition of anonymity.