Thousands of Sri Lankans get onboard Indian submarine in Colombo


Colombo, June 22 (IANS) Thousands including adults, school children, scouts, guides, members of the NCC and officers from Sri Lanka Navy had a rare opportunity to get onboard Indian Naval Submarine Vagir which was docked in Colombo from June 19 to 22.

The visit of INS Vagir was the first foreign port call of the recently commissioned indigenous Kalvari-class submarine of the Indian Navy.

The visit of the submarine was to take part in the celebration of 9th International Day of Yoga (IDY) which was held at the Port of Colombo.

Organised by the High Commission of India and Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), the cultural arm of the High Commission, the event was organised onboard and alongside the visiting submarine connecting Colombo to the Global Ocean Ring – a unique initiative under IDY 2023 wherein naval ships deployed in the Indian Ocean region visited various ports in friendly foreign countries to commemorate the Yoga Day.

Addressing the event, High Commissioner Gopal Baglay underlined the transformative power of Yoga – a shared heritage of India and Sri Lanka.

He noted that the High Commission and SVCC had organised nearly 100 yoga events across the country over the last 50 days with the unstinted support and enthusiasm of yoga institutions and enthusiasts in Sri Lanka.

“The visit of INS Vagir undertaken to commemorate IDY 2023 brought the message of goodwill, friendship and camaraderie to the shores of Sri Lanka,” Baglay stressed.

Senior officials from Sri Lankan government including Secretary of Defence, Gen Kamal Gunaratne (Retd), Commander of Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, and Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral PS De Silva, joined SLN personnel, the crew of INS Vagir, and officials and staff of the High Commission for the programme.

As an outreach initiative, the crew of INS Vagir also interacted with Colombo-based school children and presented essential items for some of the schools.

The visit “fostered brotherhood and togetherness” between the Navies of the two neighbours in line with India’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and vision of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)’, the High Commission said.


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