INS Delhi’, India’s first indigenously built destroyer, departed Colombo on September 3, 2023, after completing a successful goodwill visit.

The High Commissioner of India, Gopal Baglay, hosted a reception onboard INS Delhi on September 2, 2023. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena was the chief guest at the event. Ministers, parliamentarians, commanders of the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka, and several others from all walks of life also graced the occasion. The High Commissioner presented a ready-to-use HADR Medical (Aarogya Maitri) kit to the Speaker for use by the Government of Sri Lanka.

Speaking at the event, the speaker thanked the government of India for the special medical kit. He also recalled India’s unprecedented support for Sri Lanka in 2022. The High Commissioner noted that the visit of INS Delhi was symbolic of the strong bonds of friendship between the two closest maritime neighbours in the region, India and Sri Lanka.

The Commanding Officer of INS Delhi, Captain Abhishek Kumar, called on Commander Western Naval Area during the visit and paid respects to the brave Indian soldiers at the Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF) memorial. The crew of the ship undertook various initiatives like yoga and beach cleaning along with the Sri Lanka Navy. In addition, a maritime partnership exercise was also conducted off Colombo post-departure on September 3, 2023.

The ship was open to schoolchildren and the general public on September 1, 2023. Further, there were familiarisation tours of the ship and various professional interactions for Sri Lanka Navy personnel.

The Indian Naval Ship Khanjar had earlier visited Trincomalee from July 28–31, 2023, for operational turnaround. Visits by Indian Navy vessels in Sri Lanka are aimed at consolidating camaraderie and interoperability between the two neighbouring friendly nations.

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