Lankan defence to get training from Ind, US

Colombo: India and the US have agreed to provide enhanced training facilities to Sri Lankan defence personnel, a move aimed at strengthening security of busy sea lanes in the Indian Ocean.

The development came after Sri Lankan powerful Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa held meetings with Indian Defence Minister A K Anthony and Gen Martin Dempsey, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the margins of the Shangri-La security summit in Singapore last week.

"As two key strategic partners of Sri Lanka, both the US and India responded positively to a request made by Secretary of Defence for enhanced training opportunities for capacity building of defence personnel in their institutes of repute", the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement here today.

Sri Lanka`s delegation to the meetings was led by the country`s External Affairs Minister G L Peiris. As a coastal nation, the meetings recognised the pivotal role that Sri Lanka navy could play in strengthening the security of sea lanes in the Indian Ocean and resolved to co-operate closely in drawing on their synergies in combating international terrorism, the statement said.