Army chief General V.K. Singh arrived here on Sunday on a five-day visit to promote defence cooperation between the two countries.

General V. K. Singh and his wife Bharati Singh were received at the airport by the Sri Lankan Army Chief Jagath Jayasurya and his wife. General Singh served in the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) during Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka in 1987.

In the course of his stay here, General Singh would pay a floral tribute at the memorial for the IPKF soldiers and officers who laid down their lives in the fight against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). He will be the first Indian Army chief to visit the memorial.

General Singh is scheduled to meet the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Army Commander Lt. General Jagath Jayasuriya and a few other senior defence officials. He will also meet the External Affairs Minister G.L.Peires.

The Army chief is also expected to meet Kamal Gunaratne, Commander, Security Forces Headquarters, Wanni, in Vavuniya and visit the Indian de-mining site at Omanthai in the Northern Province before his visit to places of religious and cultural interest at Anuradhapura.

His itinerary in Trincomalee in the Eastern Province includes visits to the Indian Oil Corporation oil storage facility and the Naval dockyard.

In Trincomalee, the Army Chief will also pay a courtesy call on the Governor of the Eastern Province.

He is also scheduled to visit the Sri Lanka Military Academy in Diyatalawa. Later, he will go to Dalada Maligawa temple at Kandy that houses the Sacred Tooth.


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