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Defence secy ends year of Indian outreach

world Updated: Dec 28, 2010 00:56 IST
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Indian defence secretary Pradeep Kumar arrived in Colombo on Monday rounding of a year of high-profile visits of Indian ministers, bureaucrats and armed forces’ chiefs to Sri Lanka.

Kumar is expected to hold one-on-one meetings with foreign minister GL Peiris, the country’s powerful defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and will call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday.

The defence secretary is scheduled to pay homage to members of the Indian Peace Keepin Force (IPKF) who lost their lives in Sri Lanka between 1987 and 1990. The visit comes soon after Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma travelled to Colombo to take part in the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lankan Navy. In November, External Affairs Minister, SM Krishna, had come here on a visit.

Kumar’s visit, also preceded by visits of the Indian army and air force chiefs, is being seen as New Delhi’s effort to strengthen defence ties with Colombo in a post-Tamil Tiger era.

The stress will be on setting up a framework for defence cooperation during peace.