India and Sri Lanka on Friday continued to step up defence cooperation with navy chief admiral Nirmal Verma leading two Indian naval ships to participate in Sri Lanka navy's diamond jubilee celebration.
Indian naval ships Mysore, the largest indigenously built largest destroyer of the Indian navy and Tarangini a sail training ship took part in the celebrations, which began on Wednesday. These two ships along with Indian navy's Tir, Shardul and Indian Coast Guard Ship Varuna had earlier provided extensive training to Sri Lankan Navy cadets in October.
Mysore and Tarangini will be in Colombo till December 11 and will participate in the Presidential Fleet Review' and 'Sail Past'.
Pakistan navy chief admiral Noman Bashir and Pakistan navy war ship Zulfiquar are also in Colombo to participate in the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Lankan navy.
A statement from the High Commission of India here said the interaction was part ``friendly relations between India and Sri Lanka including in the field of defence cooperation.''
Admiral Verma met defence secretary Gotabaya Rajpaksa to discuss the progress made in the ongoing Navy-to-Navy cooperation between the two countries since his last visit in June 2010.
Verma had earlier visited Sri Lanka between June and his counterpart here, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe had visited India late October.
During the International Band Fiesta, the Indian Navy 25 member band entertained the audience with their tunes.
The officers and men of the Indian ships also visited the Chitra Lane School for the Special Child and Children's Resource Centre, and carried out the community service. The Indian Navy Band entertained the school's children who, according to the High Commission, had for the first time listened to the Naval Band.