On an invitation extended by Commander of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Vice Admiral Ray Griggs Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage visited Australia from 06th to 10th August 2013. He was accompanied by President of the Sri Lanka Navy Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs. Srima Colombage on the five-day official visit.
During his visit coordinated by the RAN Directorate of International Engagement, the Commander of the Navy was able to hold wide ranging discussions on joint measures taken to prevent people smuggling as well as search and rescue operations conducted to save people lured to undertake hazardous voyages in perilous seas. He was accorded a Guard of Honour and warmly welcomed by the Commander of the Royal Australian Navy at the RAN Headquarters. He met National Security Advisor, Dr. (Mrs) Margot McCarthy and made a joint call on Chief of Defence Force, General David Hurley and Secretary of Defence, Mr. Dennis Richardson at the Australian Department of Defence.
At the Royal Australian Navy Memorial, the Navy Commander laid a wreath in honour of fallen RAN personnel. He attended a roundtable discussion hosted by Acting Commander Joint Operations, Rear Admiral Stephen Gilmore at the Joint Operations Command Headquarters. The Navy Commander also visited the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and toured the Australian Rescue Coordination Center. At the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, he met Ambassador for People Smuggling, Mr. Craig Chittick and they discussed a range of issues related to illegal migration and human trafficking.
The Navy Commander visited the Border Protection Command and toured the Australian Maritime Security Operation Center accompanied by Commander Border Protection, Rear Admiral David Johnston.
The Navy Commander also visited the Fleet Base East and boarded the Royal Australian Navy frigate, HMAS Melbourne where he made an impromptu speech which highlighted the key factors of SLN counter-terrorism operations and its war winning strategies much to the delight of the crew members.
During their visit, Commander of the Navy and Navy Seva Vanitha President attended an official dinner hosted by Vice Admiral Ray Griggs and Mrs. Kerrie Griggs. They also had the pleasure of attending the dinner hosted by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Admiral (Rtd.) Thisara Samarasinghe at the Sri Lankan High Commissioner’s official residence.
The visit reflects the commitment for continued cooperation between the two friendly Navies and improves bilateral relations to new heights. It also paves the way for enhancing assistance for training and education of SLN officers.