Growing Chinese influence in Indian Ocean no threat: Lankan army chief

Monday, 12 December 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Dehra Dun (PTI): Visiting Sri Lankan Army Chief Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya today said though China’s influence in the Indian Ocean is growing, it is not posing any threat to the Indian sub-continent. “There is no threat to any country in the Indian sub-continent from the growing influence of China in the waters of Indian Ocean. It is a wrong belief,” Jayasuriya told reporters after reviewing the Passing Out Parade (POP) at the Indian Military Academy (IMA) here.

Regarding India, he said military cooperation between India and Sri Lanka is increasing and armies of the two countries are cooperating with each other in several areas including the field of training.

In this regard, he pointed out that 120 Sri Lankan officers have so far received training in the IMA. He said he also plans to meet Chief of Army Staff Gen. V.K Singh during his current visit.

On LTTE, Jayasuriya said LTTE in Sri Lanka has been completely decimated but admitted its sympathisers do exist in other countries.

“LTTE has been decimated militarily but they do have sympathisers in international diaspora,” he said. However, he said it is no more a military threat.

Asked about Tamilians uprooted from the island nation during Sri Lankan army’s operation against LTTE, the Sri Lankan army chief said the situation has now become “normal” and people have started coming back to their places.

The Sri Lankan government is also undertaking rehabilitation work in affected areas, he added.

Lt Gen Jayasuriya is the first commander of Sri Lankan army who reviewed the POP of IMA. He said he is feeling honoured by reviewing the parade.

Earlier, addressing the cadets, Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya thanked the government of India for choosing him to create history as he is the first commander of the Lankan army to review the parade at IMA.  “This magnanimous gesture reflects the strong bonds our armies share,” he said.