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Subramanian Swamy, Indian Army Chief to arrive in Sri Lanka

Manoj Mukund Naravane and Subramanian Swamy

Colombo, Oct 12 (UITV/IANS) In a display of major diplomatic ties between Sri Lanka and India, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy and Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane will arrive in the island nation on Tuesday.

Swamy, during his two-day visit, will participate in the Navratri festival hosted by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees, the latter's official residence in Colombo.

He is also slated to meet Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda and will address a forum at the Institute of National Security Studies of the Defence Ministry.

Meanwhile, General Naravane, who will be accompanied by a five-member delegation, is visiting the island nation on an invitation by the Sri Lankan Army Commander, General Shavendra Silva.

During his stay, General Naravane will meet President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Prime Minister, Defence Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne (Retd), High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay and the heads of the tri-forces among others.

Having served in the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka during 1987 to 1990, the army chief will pay floral tributes at the IPKF War Heroes in Colombo.

General Naravane will witness the final demonstration of the ongoing bilateral Exercise ‘Mitra Shakti' at Maduru Oya Special Forces Training School in Ampara.

Held from October 4 to 15, the 8th Edition of the India-Sri Lanka bilateral joint exercise 'Mitra Shakti' is underway at the Combat Training School, Ampara, in the Eastern province.

An all arms contingent of 120 personnel of the Indian Army is participating in the exercise along with a battalion of the Sri Lankan Army.

The aim of ‘Mitra Shakti' is to promote close relations between armies of two South Asian nations and enhance inter-operability and sharing best practices in counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations.

The exercise will involve tactical level operations at sub unit level in an international counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment and is to act as a catalyst in bringing synergy and cooperation at grass root level between both Armies.