INS Delhi’, India’s first indigenously built Destroyer departed Colombo on 03 September 2023, after completing a successful goodwill visit.
High Commissioner of India H.E Gopal Baglay hosted a reception onboard INS Delhi on 02 September 2023. Hon. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena was the Chief Guest at the event. Ministers, Parliamentarians, Commanders of the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka and several others from all walks of life also graced the occasion. High Commissioner presented a ready to use HADR Medical (Aarogya Maitri) kit to Hon. Speaker for use by Government of Sri Lanka.
Speaking at the event, Hon. Speaker thanked Government of India for the special medical kit. He also recalled India’s unprecedented support to Sri Lanka in 2022. High Commissioner noted that the visit of INS Delhi was symbolic of the strong bonds of friendship between the two closest maritime neighbours in the region – India and Sri Lanka.
Commanding Officer of INS Delhi, Captain Abhishek Kumar called on Commander Western Naval Area during the visit and paid respects to the brave Indian soldiers at the Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF) memorial. Crew of the Ship undertook various initiatives like Yoga and beach cleaning along with Sri Lanka Navy. In addition, a Maritime Partnership Exercise was also conducted off Colombo, post-departure on 03 September 2023.
The Ship was open for school children and general public on 01 September 2023. Further, there were familiarization tour of the ship and various professional interactions for Sri Lanka Navy personnel.
It may be recalled that Indian Naval Ship Khanjar had earlier visited Trincomalee from 28-31 July 2023 for operational turnaround. Visits by Indian Navy vessels in Sri Lanka are aimed at consolidating camaraderie and interoperability between the two neighbouring friendly Navies, which is in keeping with India’s SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) doctrine and ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.