Tightening naval ties between India and Sri Lanka, five sailing vessels of the Indian Navy are now visiting the island nation."Continuing Indian Navy's endeavour to build 'Bridges of Friendship', indigenous sailing vessels Mhadei, Tarini, Bulbul, Kadalpura and Hariyal visit the South Indian island from March 10-19 with the aims to provide ocean sailing training and experience to the Sri Lanka Navy," the Indian High Commission in Colombo said in a statement."The vessels were in Trincomalee from 10 March 2022 to 13 March 2022 and embarked fourteen officers including two lady officers of Sri Lanka Navy for ocean sailing experience in Colombo. Dedicated training was also imparted to the embarking officers by an Indian Navy Officer during harbour phase," the statement added.The senior officer of the Indian Navy Sailing team, Commodore B.R. Singh, called on COMEAST, Rear Admiral Jayantha Kularatne, at Trincomalee and Deputy Chief of Staff, COMWEST, Rear Admiral A.U.C. De Silva at Colombo, it said.
"The ocean-sailing experience provided by Indian Navy is expected to encourage keen enthusiasm amongst the Sri Lanka Navy Officers for this adventure sport."Earlier India's INSV Madhei circumnavigated the globe in a solo endeavour by Commander Dilip Donde in 2010 and undertook non-stop solo expedition in 2012 by Lt Commander Abhilash Tomy. In another India naval endeavour INSV Tarini as part of Navika Sagar Parikrama, a six women officer team, had successfully circumnavigated the globe in 2019.To promote the interest towards sailing and adventure sports among Sri Lanka Navy, Indian Navy's Western Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Sameer Saxena, had earlier handed over state of the art sailing gears on behalf of the Indian Navy to Sri Lanka Navy's Director General Operations, Rear Admiral P.S. Mahawithana, at a ceremony onboard INS Chennai on March 12."The recent engagements amongst the two Navies have cemented the deep rooted bonds of
friendship and seamless interoperability. The arrival of Indian Navy ships is symbolic of close defence cooperation and togetherness shared amongst the two countries in line with India's 'Neighborhood First' policy," the HC statement added.