Indian Air Force to assist National Defence College and Trinco SLAF base

The Chief of the Air Staff of Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari called on Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Temple Trees today (May 3).

The Prime Minister thanked India for continuous support given to Sri Lanka and expressed his gratitude to the Indian Air Force for immediately responding to the call for support during recent maritime disasters in Sri Lankan waters.

Air Marshal Choudhury said India would build a ’Friendship Auditorium’ at the Sri Lanka Airforce Base in Trincomalee as a symbol of close cooperation between the two Air Forces. He said the two Air Forces would conduct a joint exercise on disaster management in the last quarter of this year in Sri Lanka waters. He added that India would increase collaboration to further strengthen the National Defence College in Sri Lanka.

The Prime Minister and Indian Air Force Chief exchanged views on several matters of bilateral importance, whilst recalling the longstanding friendship between the two countries. Premier Gunawardena thanked Indian Air Force for training the first two women pilots of Sri Lanka Air Force who are now active members of the SLAF flying squad.

Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay thanked the Prime Minister for his participation at the Sita Amman Temple ceremony in Sitaeliya, Nuwaraeliya last week and issuance of a Special Postal Stamp and a First Day Cover on the occasion. He said as a result of huge media publicity for the event in India there is a growing interest among Indians to visit the historical places associated with Ramayana. The proposed increase in flights to Palali International Airport and the proposed ferry services from South India to Sri Lanka would boost pilgrims and cultural tourism between the two countries, he said.

Secretary to the Prime Minister Anura Dissanayake, Air Commodore S Bedi of IAF and Air Commodore WPAH Perera of SLAF also participated in this event.