( Februaru 03, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) As agreed between Prime Minister Manmohan Sigh and President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the latter’s State visit to India, inaugural Annual Defence Dialogue between India and Sri Lanka was held on 31st January 2012 in New Delhi. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Indian Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma Co-Chaired the meeting which was attended by officials of Defence Ministries and Armed Forces. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was assisted by the High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam and a delegation of senior officials of Army, Navy, Air Force and Police, comprising of Maj. Gen. R.M.D. Rathnayake, Rear Admiral S.A.M.J. Perera, Air Vice Marshal K.A. Gunatilleke and Deputy Inspector of Police C.N. Wakistah.
Regional security situation, in particular maritime security of the Indian Ocean dominated the deliberations of the inaugural Annual Defence Dialogue. Among other issues, cooperative activities and programmes between the Security Forces of India and Sri Lanka, in all its aspects, were discussed. The Annual Defence Dialogue will provide senior defence officials of both countries a forum to meet and discuss matters related to defence and security, annually.
During his visit to India, Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa together with his counterpart called on Indian Defence Minister Shri A.K. Antony. Defence Secretary Rajapaksa also met the National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai.