Indian Army Trainees Alumni Interaction was organised by High Commission of India on 4 October 2022. The event was attended by many senior serving and retired officers of Sri Lanka Army, trained in Indian Army training institutes including the Chief Guest General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and Lt Gen Vikum Liyanage, Commander of Sri Lanka Army. The event celebrated enduring bonds of cooperation, camaraderie and friendship between the Armies of the two countries.

High Commissioner Gopal Baglay highlighted during the event that India stands committedto help Sri Lanka in capacity building, in line with India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy. He stressed that India continued to offer training for Sri Lanka Armed forces even in challenging times. He noted that training engagements between the Armed Forces have instilled a spirit of brotherhood and interoperability amongst the services. Further, engagements of this nature underscore the need for nurturing strong relations with Indian Army Trainee Alumni in Sri Lanka.

Addressing the gathering, CDS gratefully commended efforts of the High Commissioner in connecting the two countries as friendly, mutually-respecting and caring neighbours. He said that India has always been a pillar of strength in training of Sri Lankan Armed forces personnel and shares strong cultural, demographical and behavioral similarities, as a friendly neighbour. He expressed his gratitude for the fully fledged, funded, and comprehensive training opportunities offered by India.

Training is the strongest and most enduring pillar of bilateral defence cooperation between India and Sri Lanka. Indian and Sri Lankan Armed Forces share critical bilateral training linkages, with Indian Defence Forces’ training institutes, offering the largest share of nearly 1500 training vacancies annually to Sri Lanka. The trainees are provided assistance under the Special Aid Programme (SAP) of the Government of India. Quality training imparted to Sri Lankan personnel in India has contributed immensely towards a mission-ready and cohesive Sri Lanka Armed Forces.