India gifted a Dornier Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft to Sri Lanka towards strengthening the maritime security of the island nation at a special event in Sri Lanka Air Force Base in Katunayake yesterday. 

Navy and Air Force personnel of Sri Lanka who received training in India for close to four months shall operate the aircraft. External Affairs Ministry said they will also receive operational support from their Indian counterparts.

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay graced the occasion among others. The landmark event coincided with the celebration of India’s  Independence Day. The aircraft would act as a force multiplier, enabling Sri Lanka to tackle multiple challenges such as human and drug trafficking, smuggling, and

other organized forms of crime in its coastal waters more effectively. Induction of the aircraft is timely in view of the current challenges to Sri Lanka’s maritime security.The capability of the aircraft to undertake Search and Rescue operations exemplifies its direct benefit to the people.

The gift to the people of Sri Lanka will equip the country to contribute more towards the security of the Indian Ocean Region at large. Maritime security has been identified as a key pillar of the Colombo Security Conclave. 

Speaking on the occasion, High Commissioner Gopal Baglay emphasized that the induction of the aircraft will help in creating a peaceful environment for progress and prosperity of the people of India and Sri Lanka.

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