Top French delegation meets Army Chief

In the wake of Paris massacre

Lt. Gen. Crishanthe De Silva welcomes French Ambassador in Colombo Jean-Marin Schuh. Rear Admiral Antonie Beaussant, Joint Commander of the French Forces in the Indian Ocean looks on (pic courtesy Army media)

By Shamindra Ferdinando

French Ambassador in Colombo Jean-Marin Schuh and Rear Admiral Antonie Beaussant, Joint Commander of the French Forces in the Indian Ocean last Friday afternoon (Nov 20) paid a courtesy call on Army Commander Lt. Gen. Crishanthe De Silva.

The meeting took place in the wake of coordinated ISIS attacks in Paris exactly a week ago. Rear Admiral Beaussant arrived in Colombo last week to attend the sixth edition of the Galle Dialogue 2015 International maritime conference organized by the Navy. The two-day event begins today (Nov 23).

The region coming under the visiting French Rear Admiral includes the Persian Gulf, Southern Africa, India, Australia and Singapore.

Lt. Gen. De Silva explained Army’s post-war role since the conclusion of the war in May 2009.

The Army Chief also offered to share Sri Lanka’s experience in defeating terrorism. About a dozen attackers including the 27-year-old mastermind of the worst atrocity committed on French soil since the WW II. Some of them committed suicide to avoid being arrested. The majority of victims perished due to explosions caused by suicide cadres.

The visiting French officer also paid courtesy calls on Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne as well as Air Force Chief Air Marshal Gagan Bulathsinhala.

A senior military official told The Island that the international community could make use of Sri Lanka’s experience in fighting terrorists in extremely difficult environment, particularly in residential areas. The official recalled the LTTE carried out mass suicide attacks on military bases in the Northern Province and on selected targets in the East, Colombo and Ja-ela.

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