The Second Strategic Discussions between the Armed Forces of India and Sri Lanka was held July 13-15 at Sri Lanka’s Office of the Chief of Defense Staff.
The Indian delegation was headed by Air Marshal AS Bhonsle, Officiating Chief of Integrated Defense Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee, and consisted of Brigadier SL Joshi, Captain Prakash Gopalan, Defense Adviser, Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka, and Wing Commander AA Kelkar.
Air Chief Marshal Kolitha Gunatilleke Chief of Defense Staff headed the Sri Lankan delegation comprised of Major General MP Peiris Chief of Staff Sri Lanka Army, Rear Admiral SS Ranasinghe Chief of Staff Sri Lanka Navy, Air Vice Marshal CR Gurusinghe Chief of Staff Sri Lanka Air Force, DIG (Retd) ANS Mendis Chief of National Intelligence, Rear Admiral GDAS Wimalathunga Director General Sri Lanka Coast Guard, and representative from Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs.
The Strategic discussion between the two sides was initiated in 2013 to promote professional and mutually beneficial relations between the Armed Forces of the two countries. This discussion is designed to improve bilateral cooperation and understanding between the Armed Forces through direct and open exchange of facts on matters of mutual interest.
This year’s discussions focused its attention on strategic concerns of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, the Emergence of Asia Pacific Region as a Geo-strategically important region and concerns on the global security scenario including terrorism and extremism.
The importance of continuing this dialog to strengthen security strategies to enhance maritime security in and around the Indian Ocean was emphasized. Both delegations deliberated the importance of exchange of ideas and sharing of experience to enhance the knowledge, trust, confidence and friendship between the two countries to chart the courses of success to keep the strategic sea routes safe and to secure national interests.