India to host Lankan military personnel, families

In an innovative step towards strengthening military ties, India will host Sri Lankan military personnel and their families early next week, the army said on Saturday.

During the recent visit of army chief Gen Bipin Rawat to Sri Lanka, a proposal was discussed for the visit of Sri Lankan military personnel of all three services and their families to the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Gaya and the Buddhist religious site at Bodh Gaya.

The Sri Lankan side was extremely enthusiastic while the Ministry of Defence cleared the “out of the box” proposal from the army chief on priority, army spokesperson Aman Anand said.

On June 24, an Indian Air Force aircraft C17 would arrive at Colombo and depart with 160 people, all ranks and families of three services of Sri Lanka.

The visitors would visit OTA Gaya and religious places, including Bodh Gaya, on June 25. They would return on the same aircraft to Colombo on June 26.

“It's an achievement of the military diplomacy where all stakeholders have worked overtime to put it together in such a short time,” Anand said.

India and Sri Lanka share robust defence ties. This year, India handed over a second advanced off-shore patrol vessel to Sri Lanka.

The armies of India and Sri Lanka, along with five other countries, would participate in a joint military drill under the BIMSTEC forum in September this year.

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India to host Lankan military personnel, families

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