Indian Air Force Chief Expected In Sri Lanka Today

In a bid to boost bilateral military ties, Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha is expected in Sri Lanka today.

Chief Raha will be meeting President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Minister Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and all the military top brass in the Sri Lankan Forces.

Making a statement to Indian media IAF said it was a goodwill visit to the island nation and that it was planned several months ago.

Raha will get the opportunity to visit a couple of Sri Lankan Air Force’s combat squadron at their air bases during his stay in Sri Lanka, apart from inspecting some of their training facilities.

India has a long existing military relationship with Sri Lanka, though it has vowed not to sell any lethal military hardware.

India, apart from providing systems such as air defence radars, has a close coordination in the maritime domain. Lanka also has a tie-up for its military personnel to train in India.

In the recent years, such military training at air force stations in Tamil Nadu, such as Tambaram on Chennai’s outskirts, have irked political groups in the State opposed to any military cooperation to Lanka, primarily due to the Lankan Tamils issue.

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