May 2024 \ News \ Diplomats

By Susitha Fernando

Colombo: Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Santosh Jha in April said that India is prepared to share the advanced defence equipment with Sri Lanka. “We are not only producing our national requirements but we are also willing to make these capabilities available to our friendly partner countries like Sri Lanka,” the High Commissioner said.

He said that India’s defence exports stand at nearly 2.6 billion US Dollars a year. He said that following the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat or ‘self-reliant India’, there is a significant capability development within the Indian defence industry.

“Our government has promoted this vision through enabling policies and frameworks, initiatives such as the establishment of defence industry corridors, and supporting and handholding different stakeholders,” the High Commissioner said, adding that the defence industry has been promoted to collaborations between private and government-owned enterprises.

He said that India has invested in research and development and promoted the use of innovation and new-age technologies to build the capabilities that are future-ready. He said that the Indian defence industry today rolls out state-of-the-art systems, advanced technologies and world-class equipment which ranges from fighter aircraft and helicopters to naval vessels, from electronic warfare systems to cyber security solutions and from small arms to large-calibre precision long-range artillery systems.

The High Commissioner said that over the last five-year there has been a ten-fold increase in defence exports. “India has exported defence hardware and software to more than 85 countries while more than 100 indigenous firms are active in the field,” he said.

The Envoy also explained the support extended to Sri Lanka, during the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic crisis. “We are driven by the sense of responsibility and obligation for our closest friend and neighbour. We stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our civilisational twins when it was needed most, and without any hesitation,” he said.

The High Commissioner reiterated that India’s approach to Sri Lanka was guided by the neighborhood-first policy and SAGAR vision. “For us, as close and proximate neighbours, cooperation is the only option. It is not driven by choice and opportunity alone,” he added.


Tags: Sri Lanka

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