Indian naval ship ‘Delhi’ arrives at Colombo port in Sri Lanka to promote cooperation between navies

Colombo: The Indian Naval Ship (INS) ‘Delhi’ arrived at the port of Colombo on a three-day formal visit on Friday to promote cooperation and goodwill between the two navies, the Sri Lankan Navy said.

The 163.2 metre-long Destroyer was welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in compliance with naval tradition.

Manned by a crew of 450, the ship is commanded by Captain Abhishek Kumar, the Sri Lankan Navy said in a statement on Friday.

The ship’s Commanding Officer called on Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Suresh De Silva, at the Western Naval Command Headquarters early on Friday.

During its three-day stay in Sri Lanka, the crew will take part in several programmes organised by the Sri Lanka Navy, with a view to promoting cooperation and goodwill between the two navies.

Training exchanges are also scheduled to be held aboard, involving personnel from both the navies.

The crew are expected to visit some of the tourist attractions in the country, the statement said, adding that arrangements have been made to open the ship for the visit of school children.

INS ‘Delhi’ is expected to depart Sri Lanka on September 3 and will conduct a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with a ship of the Sri Lanka Navy off Colombo, the statement said.

Earlier the defence ministry in New Delhi announced that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh would visit Sri Lanka for two days on September 2 and 3.

However, the minister’s visit was deferred due to unavoidable circumstances, a government statement said on Friday night.