India-Sri Lanka Current Affairs

Mitra Shakti 2017: India-Sri Lanka Joint Military Exercise held in Pune

The 5th India-Sri Lanka joint training exercise “Mitra Shakti 2017” was held Aundh Military Station in Pune, Maharshtra.  The two weeks exercise (October 13 and 25) is based on Counter Terrorist Operations (CTO) and Infantry company from both countries are participating in it.

Mitra Shakti 2017

The aim of joint training is to exchange best of military practices of two countries and build strong military-to-military (M2M) relation between two armies. It also aims at developing joint strategies by sharing the expertise of conducting operations, especially in counter-insurgency and counter terrorism (CI and CT) environment under UN mandate. The training module of exercise will include weapons training, basic military tactics and complex battle strategies.

Background

The Mitra Shakti series of exercise between India and Sri Lanka had started in 2012, mainly as a response to China’s efforts to increase its influence in South Asia and Indian Ocean region. The armies of India and Sri Lanka also serve together in the United Nations Peacekeeping missions. The fourth edition of exercise was held at Sinha Regimental Centre in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka, in 2016 with main focus to enhance inter-operability in CI and CT operations under the UN mandate.

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India signs Agreement to provide $318 million Line of Credit to Sri Lanka

India has signed an agreement with Sri Lanka to provide USD 318 million as line of credit for developing Sri Lanka’s railway sector. The agreement was signed between Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Finance and Mass media, and Managing Director of India’s Export Import Bank in Colombo.

Background

In 2015, during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka he had declared a line of credit of USD 318 million for the development of Sri Lanka’s railway sector. That visit of Prime Minister Modi was the first standalone bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister since 1987.

The line of credit comes at the backdrop of increasing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean nation. China has made significant investments in Sri Lanka mainly in developing ports. Though China claims the investments are part of its Belt and Road Initiative that aims to link it with Europe and Africa via the Indian Ocean, the ports have the potential to be used as a base for its naval operations.

At present, Indian development assistance to Sri Lanka primarily focuses on improvement of infrastructure, livelihood development, education, healthcare, and capacity building. India continues to be a major developmental partner for Sri Lanka for nearly 40 years.

So far India has provided four lines of credit to Sri Lanka for developing its railway sector that totally amounted to USD 966 million. Sri Lanka has made used of these credit facilities to improve the southern and northern railway lines as well as for procuring the rolling stocks for the Sri Lanka Railways.

In addition, over the years Indian foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka has also increased rapidly.

 

 

 

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