New Delhi: Strengthening India-Sri Lanka ties while Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla is on a visit to the island nation visiting different places, including Jaffna, the eighth edition of bilateral joint exercise 'Mitra Shakti' focusing on counter-terrorism will be conducted at Combat Training School, Ampara in Sri Lanka from Monday (October 4).
The mega military exercise will continue till October 15, the Defence Ministry said. The war game will act as a catalyst in bringing synergy and cooperation at the grassroots level between both armies.
"The aim of the exercise is to promote close relations between armies of both countries and enhance inter-operability and sharing best practices in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations," it said.
The ministry said an all arms contingent of 120 personnel of the Indian Army would participate in the exercise along with a battalion-strength contingent of the Sri Lankan Army. The exercise will involve tactical level operations at the sub-unit level in an international counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism environment.
A series of deadly bomb blasts rocked Sri Lanka in April 2019, in which over 300 people were killed. In the backdrop of the blasts, both the countries had enhanced their anti-terror cooperation.
The last edition of the Mitra Shakti exercise was conducted at Foreign Training Node (FTN) in Pune in 2019.
Foreign Secy Shringla visit
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla, who is on a visit to the island nation, will call on top leadership, including President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Foreign Minister GL Pieris. He will hold talks with counterpart Jayanth Colombage. The Foreign Secretary will also travel to Kandy, Trincomalee and Jaffna. He will visit Jaffna cultural centre, which is being built with India's assistance.
As an immediate neighbour, India came out quickly to extend help to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. New Delhi has supplied 100 tons of liquid medical oxygen, 26 tons of medicines and delivered half a million Covid vaccines.