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Indian military contingent, families arrive in Sri Lanka on goodwill visit

Simultaneously, as many Sri Lankan military officers and their families left for India on Saturday, on a “special pilgrimage trip” to Bodh Gaya organised by the Indian High Commission

June 15, 2019 08:52 pm | Updated 08:53 pm IST - COLOMBO

The Indian delegation will visit the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. File

The Indian delegation will visit the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. File

About 160 Indian military personnel with their families arrived in Colombo on Saturday on a three-day visit, as part of an exchange programme that seeks to promote military ties through reciprocal visits to key, mostly religious, sites in the two countries.

The team will visit popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, including the Temple of the Tooth in the central Kandy city and the beach town of Galle, south of Colombo.

Simultaneously, as many Sri Lankan military officers and their families left for India on Saturday, on a “special pilgrimage trip” to Bodh Gaya organised by the Indian High Commission. The group will visit the Mahabodhi Temple, the 80 feet statue of the Buddha, Rajgir and Nalanda museum, a statement said. This is the second consecutive year that the Sri Lankan military officials and their families are going on a religious tour in India.

This is the first time that Indian military contingent has come to Sri Lanka on such a visit that, officials on both sides said, would strengthen military ties and “provide a platform” to develop personal bonds. Sri Lanka’s Army Commander Lt. General Mahesh Senananyake and Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu were at the airport to receive the Indian delegation visiting Sri Lanka and see off their Sri Lankan counterparts traveling to India.

“This is the biggest ever tri-service Indian delegation with their family members undertaking a visit of this nature expressing their solidarity with Sri Lanka peace prospects particularly in the aftermath of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goodwill visit to Sri Lanka,” a statement from the Sri Lankan Army said.

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