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India to help Sri Lankan army to build capacities

world Updated: Jul 01, 2011 20:50 IST
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India has agreed to help the Sri Lankan Army in its capacity building by opening up more seats for its officers and men in its training academies and military colleges, apart from sharing experiences in counter-insurgency operations.

The agreements were arrived at during the first structured army-to-army talks that ended on Friday, an Indian Army officer said.

Apart from deciding to enhance the scope and number of training courses for Sri Lankan officers and men, the Indian Army will also share its experience and organisational structure for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

For the talks, Sri Lanka had sent a five-member delegation led by its military secretary, Major General HCP Goonetilleke. India was represented by the army's Additional Director General for International Cooperation, Major General I.P. Singh.

The two sides will also send their military instructors to each other's military academies. Sri Lankan, in particular, needed instructors in adventure sports and English language, which India agreed to provide, they said.

The Goonetilleke-led delegation also met Indian Army chief General V.K. Singh during the visit.

In the inaugural army-to-army staff talks, which began Wednesday, the two sides also shared their expertise in battle concepts and doctrines, particularly in tackling insurgency.

While Sri Lanka successfully ended its three-decade long civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) two years ago, India is battling insurgents in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern states.

The Sri Lankan delegation will return to Colombo on Saturday.