Sri Lanka desires strong defence ties with China, India

Colombo, Dec 20 (IANS) Sri Lanka needs to have strong defence ties with countries like China and India, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Sunday.

Addressing an event to mark the recruitment of a new batch of soldiers to the military, he said the army needs to modernize to be on par with the developing world, reports Xinhua news agency.

He said that in order to improve the standards of the army, Sri Lanka needed to maintain good ties with China, India and Pakistan as well as the US and Britain.

“It is because of the relationship that we have with these countries that the army was able to develop.”

The prime minister said Sri Lanka hoped to launch a programme through the defence ministry on future warfare to ensure the army was geared to face any situation in future.

The military crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009 after 30 years of war which killed thousands on both sides.

Wickremesinghe said the situation had now changed in the world and that the Sri Lankan military must adapt to face those changes.

He added that with the end of the war, the wounds from the conflict must heal and efforts must be taken in that regard.

“When you have a wound, it is not easy to heal.”

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