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SLAF choppers receive essential spare parts from India

Indian Air Force has rushed essential spare parts for helicopters to Sri Lanka to enable the island nation to tackle the floods which have taken a toll of more than two hundred lives during the last one week.

Colombo media reports that Sri Lankan Air Force has taken delivery of essential spare parts from India to sustain ongoing helicopter operations in areas devastated by floods and earth slips. Indian Air Force delivered the required equipment May 30.

The announcement came in the wake of Sri Lanka losing one of its precious Mi 17s during relief operations on early this week. In a statement on the relief measures provided by India the Indian high commissioner in Colombo in a release said, A third Indian Naval Ship, INS Jalashwa, arrived at Colombo Port on May 30 from Vishakapatnam, as part of India’s ongoing assistance for flood relief in Sri Lanka.

This is the largest of the three Indian ships sent to Sri Lanka. It has specialized equipment, including landing platform / dock, disembarkation crafts, helicopters, and a fully equipped medical hospital with operation theaters and laboratories.

With around 400 personnel on board, the ship has on board multiple rescue and diving teams, along with inflatable boats and medical supplies. It has also brought additional relief material.

High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu handed over Indian assistance from the ship to Mr. P.B. Abeykoon, Secretary to President, and Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, Commander of Sri Lanka Navy.

Later in the day, Sri Lankan foreign minister Ravi Karunanayake, along with the High Commissioner, flagged off the deployment of Indian Navy teams to various locations across Sri Lanka particularly in Akussera and Deniyaya in Matara District and Divitura in Galle District. These teams will work with the Sri Lankan Navy in undertaking rescue and relief operations.

 In his comments, High Commissioner reiterated India’s unwavering commitment and support to Sri Lanka in the relief operations. He conveyed that as requested by the Government of Sri Lanka, India has focused on rescue operations by providing specialized diving and medical teams as well as essential relief items. He also mentioned that Specialized Disaster Management compact teams are ready to assist in case of requirement.

Meanwhile, the rescue and medical teams from INS Shardul, which reached Colombo on May 28, continued to provide assistance at Kaluthara and Ratnapura. Joint medical camps with Sri Lankan Navy personnel were organized in different places, including Nagoda Hospital in Kaluthara.

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