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    Lot to Learn from Sri Lanka, Indian Defence Secretary Tells President Rajapaksa Featured

    October 10, 2014
    Indian Defence Secretary Mr. R.K. Mathur called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President's House in Kandy this morning. 
     
    President Rajapaksa has continuously maintained that cooperation between Sri Lanka and India in the sector of defence is an important aspect of the strong friendship shared by the two South Asian neighbours. 
     
    Among the range of matters that came into focus during the meeting, President Rajapaksa and the Indian Defence Secretary also discussed expanding training between the various military arms of the two countries. 
     
    Mr. Mathur told the President that training experiences of Sri Lankan military officials in India have gone well. 
     
    "There are a whole lot of things we would also like to learn from Sri Lanka," Mr. Mathur said. 
     
    In addition to continuing existing training programs, Sri Lanka and India are expected to explore opportunities for exchanging guest lecturers and long-term trainers at defence academies in the two countries. 
     
    President Rajapaksa also took up the issues faced by Sri Lankan fishermen, primarily from the North, as a result of Indian bottom trawlers. 
     
    "The destruction of the environment is the biggest problem," President Rajapaksa said. "We have banned bottom trawling."
     
    Pointing out that fishing resources will be completely depleted for both Sri Lanka and India if bottom trawling practices continue, President Rajapaksa said it will be the Tamil fishermen from Sri Lanka's North who will be most affected. 
     
    Both parties hoped that dialogue between officials and affected parties would help bring a solution to the problem. 
     
    Mr. Mathur is in the country for the 2nd Annual Defence Dialogue that took place in Colombo yesterday. It is one of several defence dialogues in which the two nations participate. 
     
    Plans are also being made for talks between the coast guards of Sri Lanka and India, following observations that there already exists a fruitful working relationship at this level. 
     
    The President and the Indian Defence Secretary agreed that the various defence-related dialogues that the two countries are engaged in will help further strengthen existing ties. 
     
    The Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Mr. Y.K. Sinha, Joint Secretary of India's Ministry of Defence Mr. Ram Suhag Singh and Joint Secretary of India's Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Suchitra Durai accompanied Mr. Mathur. 
     
    Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne and Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera were also present. (IMU/KH)
     
    Prsesident meets Indian Defence ministerPrsesident meets Indian Defence minister1
    Last modified on Friday, 10 October 2014 15:22

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