COLOMBO: Indian Defence Secretary R K Mathur has told Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, that India has a lot to learn from Lanka in military matters.
“There is a whole lot of things we would like to learn from Sri Lanka,” Mathur told Rajapaksa when he met the latter here. The Defence Secretary is in Colombo for the second annual defence dialogue. It took place on Thursday.
A Lankan Presidential press release said that Lanka and India have agreed to get their military training establishments to accept guest lecturers from each other on a long term basis.
This is an advancement in as much as traditionally, India has been training Lankan military officers and guest lecturers from India visit Lanka, and not vice versa.
President Rajapaksa raised the issue of Indian fishermen poaching in Lankan waters with environmentally destructive trawlers, and pointed out the deleterious effect this has on the livelihood of Tamil fishermen of North Lanka.
The two sides then agreed to get the Coast Guards of the two countries to talk to each other to strengthen the already existing cooperation.
They also agreed that a lasting solution to the issue can arise only from talks between the affected fishermen.
Present at the talks with the Lankan President were Indian High Commissioner Y K Sinha, Joint Secretary Defence Ram Suhag Singh, and Joint Secretary External Affairs Suchitra Durai. The Lankan side had Foreign Secretary Kshenuka Senewiratne and Navy chief Vice Adm Jayantha Perera.