National

Sri Lankan soldiers, families to visit Bodh Gaya

Shared heritage: Sri Lankan military personnel and their families get ready to leave for Bodh Gaya on an IAF aircraft from the Colombo airport on Sunday.

Shared heritage: Sri Lankan military personnel and their families get ready to leave for Bodh Gaya on an IAF aircraft from the Colombo airport on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

more-in

‘Trip will deepen camaraderie between armed forces’

Indo-Sri Lanka defence ties got a religious twist on Sunday, when a group of 80 military personnel departed for Bodh Gaya on a chartered flight arranged by the Indian government.

The trip was organised following Sri Lankan Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake’s request to Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, who was recently here on a goodwill visit.

General Senanayake put together the three day-visit, under the India-Sri Lanka Exchange Programme, in cooperation with the High Commission of India in Colombo, the Sri Lankan Army said.

Apart from a visit to the Mahabodhi Temple, a key religious site that Buddhists consider sacred, the Indian Army will organise interactions with their military personnel, and a tour of the Officers Training Academy (OTA) at Gaya, the Indian mission here said in a statement. It also described the visit as “yet another manifestation of the shared Buddhist heritage of India and Sri Lanka” and one that would help deepen “friendship and camaraderie” between the two armed forces.

Special aircraft sent

The military staff and their families travelled by a specially arranged Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft. This is the first time they are visiting Bodh Gaya, Army sources said.

General Senanayake and Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu on Sunday met the Sri Lankan personnel and their families at Colombo airport, ahead of their departure.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 9:25:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sri-lankan-soldiers-families-to-visit-bodh-gaya/article24247768.ece

Next Story