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Naval News & Reviews

26 January 2016
Author: Paul Ridgway



IN Sri Lanka 2 jpeg 4 480

IN Sri Lanka 1 jpeg (4) 0 480

HE Maitripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka visited INS Vikramaditya on 23 January 2016. He was received onboard by Rear-Admiral Ranveet Singh, Flag Officer Commanding, Western Fleet and Captain Krishna Swaminathan, the warship's CO.

HE Shri YK Sinha, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka and Vice-Admiral Ravindra C Wijegunaratne, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy were also present. On his arrival onboard, the President received a 50-strong Guard of Honour with the playing of the Sri Lankan and Indian national anthems by the Indian Navy band. He was then introduced to the ship's officers.

This visit is highly significant since it marks many firsts. It was not only the first visit of the President of Sri Lanka to a foreign warship after assuming office in January 2015, but also the first Head of State visit to the Indian Navy's biggest warship and aircraft carrier, INS VIKRAMADITYA. This call of the warship to Colombo was the first ever foreign port being visited by her following her commissioning into the Indian Navy in 2013.

The President made a tour of the ship and was shown the various aviation facilities onboard. He showed keen interest in the functioning of the ship and her various aircraft and stated that he was very happy and honoured to be the first Head of State to visit the Indian Navy's Flagship and state-of-the art aircraft carrier. The President signed the Visitors' Book on completion of the visit.

India and Sri Lanka share a very cordial multi-dimensional relationship that is both diverse and historic. The Indian Navy and the Sri Lanka Navy also share a deep and multi-layered relationship with a history of strong bilateral engagement.

This visit of the President of Sri Lanka, who is Commander-in-Chief of the Sri Lanka defence forces and Defence Minister, to INS Vikramaditya is a reflection of the strong bonds the two nations and navies have fostered between them over the years.

Paul Ridgway
acknowledging assistance from MoD Government of India and www.india.gov.in