New Delhi, Jan. 23 (ANI): Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday visited the INS Vikramaditya in Columbo.
He was received onboard by Rear Admiral Ranveet Singh, NM, Flag Officer Commanding, Western Fleet and Captain Krishna Swaminathan, Commanding Officer of the ship.
On his arrival onboard, the President was presented a 50-menGuard of honour and was received with the playing of Sri Lanka and Indian national anthems by the Indian Navy band. He was then introduced to the ship’s officers.
This visit is very significant since it marks many firsts. It was not only the first visit of the President of Sri Lanka to a foreign warship after assuming office in January 2015, but also the first Head of State visit to the Indian Navy’s biggest warship and aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya.
The fact that this visit of the ship to Colombo was the first ever foreign port being visited by the ship after being inducted into the Indian Navy makes the visit of the President onboard even more remarkable.
The President walked around the ship and was shown various aviation facilities onboard. He evinced keen interest in the functioning of the ship and her various aircraft.
President Sirisena stated that he was very happy and honoured to be the first Head of State to visit the Indian Navy’s Flagship and state-of-the art aircraft carrier. The President signed the Visitors Book on completion of the visit.
India and Sri Lanka share a very cordial multi-dimensional relationship that is both diverse and historic. The Indian Navy and the Sri Lanka Navy also share a deep and multi layered relationship, as also a history of strong bilateral engagement.
This visit of the President of Sri Lanka, who is not only the Commander-in-Chief of the Sri Lanka defence forces, but is also the current Defence Minister of Sri Lanka – to INS Vikramaditya is reflection of the strong bonds the two nations and navies have fostered between them over the years. (ANI)