Sri Lanka is willing to share its experiences in counter-insurgency with India, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.
The offer was made during the visit of the Indian army chief Gen Bikram Singh to Sri Lanka in the third week of December, Indian Express reported.
“We have designed courses in this field and have offered them to other countries facing terrorism," the Defence Secretary said.
Asked specifically if he envisaged Indians coming to Lankan military institutions for training, in the same way as more than 800 Lankan officers were going to Indian military institutions every year, the Secretary said that military training could mean attending courses or participating in joint exercises, or both, but with India, joint exercises were more likely.
“Such exercises are already taking place. These will be continued and improved,” he said.
That India is ready to enter a two-way street with Lanka in the field of military assistance was evident in Gen Bikram Singh’s remark at the passing out parade at Sri Lanka Military Academy on Dec 22.
“With significant experience on both sides, we have a lot to learn from each other and we look forward to reinforcing our cooperation in the military domain further,” he said.
Between December 3 and 24 Indian and Sri Lankan Special Forces had conducted joint exercises at the Indian army’s Special Forces Training Centre at Nahan in Himachal Pradesh. The SINEX I and II joint naval exercises were conducted in 2005 and 2011 respectively. The communiqué issued on these exercises had mentioned “sharing experiences” as one of the aims, indicating that the flow of knowledge was not one way, from India to Lanka only.
In 2010, visiting Indian Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar had proposed that the SINEX series of naval exercises be made a regular feature.