In an innovative step towards strengthening military ties, India today hosted a 160-member delegation comprising Sri Lankan military personnel and their families in Bihar’s Gaya, where they will visit Buddhist religious places.
One C-17 aircraft of the Indian Air Force brought the Sri Lankan delegation comprising of personnel from all three services and their family members from Colombo to Gaya, the Air Force said.
The delegation will also visit the Officers Training Academy in Gaya. The visitors would be airlifted back to Colombo tomorrow.
During the Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s recent visit to Sri Lanka, a proposal was discussed for a visit of Sri Lankan military personnel of all three services and their families to the Officers Training Academy in Gaya and the Buddhist religious site at Bodh Gaya.
The Sri Lankan side was extremely enthusiastic about the tour, while the Ministry of Defence cleared the “out of the box” proposal from the Army chief on priority.
India and Sri Lanka share robust defence ties. This year, India handed over a second advanced off-shore patrol vessel to Sri Lanka.
The armies of India and Sri Lanka, along with five other countries would participate in a joint military drill under the BIMSTEC forum in September this year.