- On Friday, India disputed China's "insinuations" that New Delhi exerted pressure on Colombo to prevent the warship from visiting the port in Sri Lanka
- who also emphasised that India would base its assessment of Sri Lanka's security concerns on the circumstances in the region.
As India handed over a Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft to the Sri Lanka Navy to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation, the Indian envoy said here on Monday that mutual understanding, trust, and cooperation improve the security of India and Sri Lanka.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, the president of Sri Lanka, attended the handover event.
At the Sri Lanka Airforce base in Katunayake, which is close to the Colombo international airport, Vice Admiral S N Ghormade, vice chief of the Indian Navy, and Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay presented the maritime surveillance aircraft to the Sri Lanka Navy. Ghormade is in the country for a two-day visit.
“Understanding, trust, and cooperation between India and Sri Lanka improve security. India’s most recent donation to this cause is a Dornier 228 “At the handover ceremony, High Commissioner Baglay made a statement.
“The donation of a Dornier to @airforcelk is relevant to and a step toward meeting India’s requirements for maritime safety and security, just like other fruits of cooperation with India. It demonstrates how India’s power amplifies that of its allies “added he.
India was commemorating its independence for the 75th year at the time of the celebration.
According to sources in New Delhi, Sri Lanka is receiving the aircraft from the Indian Navy’s inventory to help the country meet its immediate security needs.
A team from the Sri Lankan Navy and Air Force has already received thorough training from the Indian Navy on how to fly the maritime surveillance aircraft.
According to a senior official in New Delhi who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “Sri Lanka has been a significant partner of India and we will continue to enhance our bilateral defence cooperation in the months and years to come.”
Recalling the agreement, Sri Lankan officials earlier stated that the island nation had requested the possibility of acquiring two Dornier reconnaissance aircraft from India during the Defence Dialogue between India and Sri Lanka held in January 2018 in New Delhi. This was done in order to improve the maritime surveillance capabilities of the island nation.
According to sources in New Delhi, India will give Sri Lanka two Dornier planes made by the nation’s state-owned aerospace company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The Dornier aircraft that were presented to the Indian Navy on Monday will be returned after these two HAL-made aircraft are delivered.
15 members of the Sri Lanka Airforce who received specialised training in India for four months will operate and maintain the aircraft.
Pilots, observers, engineering officers, and technicians make up the team. The Sri Lanka Air Force’s technical staff from the Indian government will oversee them (SLAF).
The SLAF stated earlier on Monday that the team will conduct thorough supervision of the aircraft, airframe, aircraft support equipment, ground support equipment, and pertinent documentation and would determine the suitability of all the assets.
A day before the Chinese ship “Yuan Wang 5” docks at the southern port of Hambantota on Tuesday for a week, India hands over the Dornier aircraft.
The ship was supposed to arrive at the port on August 11, but it was delayed because the Sri Lankan authorities did not grant it clearance.
Due to India’s worries, Sri Lanka had requested that China postpone the visit. Colombo gave the port permission to receive the ship from August 16 to 22 on Saturday.
In New Delhi, there were worries that the ship’s tracking devices may try to eavesdrop on Indian defence facilities as it was on route to the port in Sri Lanka.
On Friday, India disputed China’s “insinuations” that New Delhi exerted pressure on Colombo to prevent the warship from visiting the port in Sri Lanka, but it also reaffirmed that it will make choices based on its security concerns.
Sri Lanka, a sovereign nation, makes its own independent decisions, according to the spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs, Arindam Bagchi, who also emphasised that India would base its assessment of Sri Lanka’s security concerns on the circumstances in the region.