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“India Defence Forces offer around 1500 training slots to SL each year”

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Indian Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka – Vinod K Jacob  has noted that Indian Defence Forces offer about 1500 training slots every year to Sri Lanka which are financed through a special programme with an annual allocation of USD 7 million.

He has said this while addressing the Indian Navy-trained Sri Lanka Defence Forces personnel on board Indian Naval Ship Sukanya in Colombo on 28 February 2023.

He said that training is the strongest and most enduring pillar of bilateral Defence cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.

Training is imparted for cadets at premier Defence Institutes in India like National Defence College, Indian Military Academy, Air Force Academy and Indian Naval Academy. In addition, various service-specific training modules and staff courses are also offered. Sri Lanka receives the maximum number of billets in Higher Defence Management and National Defence College Courses. Deputy High Commissioner noted that it is a matter of immense satisfaction for India that some of these alumni have risen to the ranks of Service Chiefs of Sri Lanka.

Deputy High Commissioner Jacob remarked that India-Sri Lanka relations are excellent and form the highlight of India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy. While both countries are working to deepen engagement across the board, five areas are of particular significance in the immediate short and medium term. First is the potential for economic and financial cooperation by building on the Indian support to the people of Sri Lanka in 2022 to the tune of USD 4 billion. He emphasized that focus could be laid on areas such as trade in national currencies, ease of investments and strengthening financial cooperation. Second, the two sides are working towards increasing air, ferry, digital and energy connectivity. Third, a new type of development cooperation partnership building on the existing multi-billion portfolio with special emphasis on vulnerable communities is required. Fourth, both sides need to enhance people to people exchanges, particularly in tourist movements. Fifth, it is essential to strengthen the cultural, religious, music, movie and sporting links for mutual benefit.

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Colombo air show and CADE 2024 exhibition postponed to next year

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The Colombo Air Show and Defence Exhibition (CADE 2024), initially set to take place from May 29 to June 2 at Galle Face and Colombo Port City, has been postponed to next year, according to the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF).

The SLAF stated that the decision to reschedule the event was made in response to multiple requests from international partners, defence industry stakeholders, and foreign Air Forces. This postponement aims to enhance participation and provide a more diverse experience for spectators.

The rescheduled event will now be held from February 26 to March 2, 2025, coinciding with the 74th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Air Force.

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 Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arrives in Sri Lanka

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The Global Peace Ambassador and Spiritual Leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arrived in Sri Lanka this afternoon (18) for a three-day visit. He was welcomed at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake by State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon and Eastern Province Governor Senthil Thondaman.

During his stay from May 18 to 20, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will participate in an event titled ‘Ekamuthuva: An Evening of Music, Meditation and Wisdom,’ which will be held at Taj Samudra on May 19. Renowned for his global humanitarian efforts and as a peace envoy, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is also an Indian yoga guru and the founder of ‘Transcendental Meditation’.

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President leaves for Indonesia

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has left for Indonesia this morning (18) to attend the 10th World Water Forum High-Level Meeting in Bali, at the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The 10th World Water Forum is being held from May 18th to 20th in Bali, Indonesia.

This significant gathering, themed “Water for Shared Prosperity,” will convene global leaders to address pressing issues related to water management and sustainability.

President Wickremesinghe left for Indonesia on Saturday, following an invitation from Indonesian President Joko Widodo, underscoring Sri Lanka’s commitment to international cooperation on water-related challenges.

Scheduled to deliver a keynote address on May 20th, President Wickremesinghe will articulate Sri Lanka’s perspective on achieving equitable access to water resources for all, the President’s Media Division said.

During the forum, President Wickremesinghe is expected to engage in bilateral discussions, including a meeting with President Widodo, to explore avenues for collaborative action in water resource management.

His delegation, comprising senior officials from the Presidential Secretariat and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reflects Sri Lanka’s comprehensive approach to addressing global water issues.

President Wickremesinghe’s participation underscores Sri Lanka’s proactive role in advancing sustainable solutions to ensure water security, not only domestically but also on the global stage, the PMD said.

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