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SL+NAVY+CHIEF+ASSURES+INDIA+THAT+PRESENCE+OF+CHINESE+SUBMARINES+IN+SL+ARE+PURELY+FOR+ECONOMIC+REASONS
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 - 13:10
SL NAVY CHIEF ASSURES INDIA THAT PRESENCE OF CHINESE SUBMARINES IN SL ARE PURELY FOR ECONOMIC REASONS
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India who views the current development of having Chinese nuclear submarines in Sri Lankan waters has been assured by the SL Navy chief Vice Admiral R. C. Wijegunaratne that the presence of Chinese nuclear submarines in Sri Lankan territories was purely meant for economic reasons, according to foreign media reports.

Wijegunaratne also said "The age-old tradition of Sri Lankans going to Staff College in Wellington in Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu has stopped. We are negotiating with India to try and resume this process".

The SL Navy chief is currently on an official visit to India from January 29 to February 2. This visit is aimed at developing and consolidating bilateral naval relations between India and Sri Lanka and to find ways in exploring new avenues for naval cooperation.

After arriving in India, on January 30 he held bilateral discussions with Indian Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba and other senior officials of the Indian Navy. The Navy admiral is also scheduled to meet the Chief of the Air Staff, Chief of the Army Staff and the Director General of the Indian Coast Guard. He is also scheduled to hold official meetings with Minister of State for Defence and Defence Secretary during his official tour in New Delhi.

Traditionally, naval cooperation between India and Sri Lanka has been quite strong, that encompassed a wide range of issues including operational interactions through bilateral exercises, training, port calls, hydrographic co-operation, exchanges among Special Forces, capability building and capacity augmentation initiatives. Indian Navy is currently constructing two Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessels (AOPVs) for the Sri Lankan Navy at M/s Goa Shipyard Limited.

The SL Navy chief is also scheduled to visit Goa where he will be visiting Naval War College and the Goa Shipyard Limited, besides interacting with Flag Officer Commanding of Goa Area. He would be also visiting the Training Command of the Indian Navy based in Kochi, where he would be briefed on training aspects and would also be taken to see various training facilities and professional schools.

The Navy Admiral would also interact with the Sri Lankan Naval personnel undergoing training in India during his visit to Kochi.

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