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Indian contingent leaves for Sri Lanka for joint military exercise

The exercise, which will end on October 15, seeks to strengthen ties between the military of both countries and improve interoperability.
 

Indian contingent leaves for Sri Lanka for joint military exercise focus on counter insurgency ops gcw
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New Delhi, First Published Oct 2, 2021, 2:52 PM IST
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A contingent of 120 Indian Army personnel left for Colombo to participate in the 8th edition of joint exercise Mitra Shakti with Sri Lankan troops at Combat Training School in Ampara, commencing from October 4. The exercise, which will end on October 15, seeks to strengthen ties between the military of both countries and improve interoperability. The two forces will also share their best practices in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations during their exercise.

The exercise, according to Indian Army PRO Col Sudhir Chamoli, would entail tactical level operations at the subunit level in an international Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism environment, and will go a long way toward further cementing the partnership between both South Asian nations. It would serve as a catalyst for greater synergy and collaboration between the two armies at the grassroots level.

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The previous Mitra Shakti exercise was held in 2019 at the Foreign Training Node (FTN) in Pune. The exercise is happening when Indian foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla is in Sri Lanka to review the bilateral ties, the progress of ongoing bilateral projects and continued cooperation to tackle Covid related disruptions.

According to a statement published by the Ministry of External Affairs, Sri Lanka is an essential element of India's 'Neighborhood First' policy. The Foreign Secretary's visit illustrates how important it is for both countries to maintain close and cordial cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.

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There are many concerns in New Delhi after the Sri Lankan government boot out India from its East Container Terminal project and cost up with China. Adani Group, on the other hand, was able to reach an agreement with the state-owned Sri Lanka Ports Authority to construct and operate the important Colombo Port's Western Container Terminal.

So far, Beijing has invested over $8 billion in the development of infrastructural projects in the island nation as part of its Belt and Road Initiative. In 2017, the Sri Lankan government gave its Hambantota port to China after failing to pay the debt.

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