Vice Admiral R.C. Wijegunaratne, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, was on official visit to India from January 29 to February 2, 2017. The visit was aimed at consolidating bilateral naval relations between India and Sri Lanka and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation.
He held bilateral discussions with Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff, and other senior officials of the Indian Navy. The Admiral also met the Chief of the Air Staff, Chief of the Army Staff as well as the Director General of Indian Coast Guard. He also called on of the Minister of State for Defence and Defence Secretary.
Naval cooperation between India and Sri Lanka has been traditionally strong, encompassing a wide span, which includes operational interactions through bilateral exercises, training, port calls, hydrographic cooperation, Special Forces interactions, capability building and capacity augmentation initiatives. Two advanced offshore patrol vessels (AOPVs) are also being constructed for the Sri Lankan Navy at the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL).
The Admiral also visited the Naval War College in Goa and GSL besides interacting with Flag Officer Commanding in Goa Area. The Admiral further visited the Training Command of the Indian Navy based at Kochi, where he was briefed on training aspects. During his visit to Kochi, the Admiral interacted with Sri Lankan Naval personnel undergoing training in India. Earlier the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba had visited Sri Lanka wherein he participated in the 7th International Maritime Conference, Galle Dialogue 2016.