COLOMBO : The Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army (COAS) General Manoj Mukund Naravane, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC at the invitation of his Sri Lanka’s counterpart, General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, together with a five-member delegation, including his spouse arrives in Sri Lanka on Tuesday (12) on a five-day long goodwill tour.
During his stay, General Manoj Mukund Naravane is scheduled to pay courtesy calls on the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, State Minister of National Security, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, General Kamal Gunaratne (Retd), Secretary to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, High Commissioner of India, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, General Shavendra Silva, Commanders of the Navy and Air Force.
On Thursday (14), the visiting Indian Army Chief gracing the Gajaba Regiment Regimental Day commemorative ceremonials at Saliyapura is to be honoured in a parade before he joins the presentation of driving and firing simulators to the School of Sri Lanka Army Service Corps at Anuradhapura and witnesses the final demonstration of the ongoing bilateral Exercise ‘Mitra Shakti’ at Maduru Oya Special Forces Training School.
The delegation, composed of his spouse, Mrs Veena Naravane, President, Army Wives Welfare Association, Major General Rajeev Thapar, Major General General Staff, HQ Army Training Command, Major General Vikrant Naik, Military Assistant to the COAS and Colonel Mandeep Singh Dhillon is also set to pay homage to the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya and a few other places.
The visiting COAS is to be honoured at the Army Headquarters in a colourful Guard Turnout plus in an elegantly-dressed special Guard of Honour salute soon after his arrival at the Army HQ on Wednesday, October 13 before he calls on his host, General Shavendra Silva at the Commander’s office for formal exchange of views. He is also scheduled to pay courtesies to the General Kamal Gunaratne (Rtd), Secretary Defence at the Ministry of Defence.
Just a few hours after the Indian Army Chief’s arrival in Sri Lanka he is expected to pay floral tributes to the memory of IPKF War Heroes at the monument in Sri Jayawardenepura before he proceeds to the Army Headquarters.
The COAS will also make a formal visit to the Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) at Sapugaskanda towards the end of his itinerary in Sri Lanka and meet undergraduates reading for the psc degree.
General Shavendra Silva, accompanied by his spouse Mrs Sujeewa Nelson, President, Army Seva Vanitha Unit, will receive the visiting India’s Army Chief and his spouse, Mrs Veena Naravane, together with his delegation to a red carpet welcome at the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport.
The Army Seva Vanitha Unit has meanwhile organized a separate reception and a programme for Mrs Veena Naravane during her stay in Sri Lanka.
Here follows a brief profile of the COAS of the Indian Army;
General MM Naravane, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC did his schooling at Jnana Prabodhini Prashala, Pune. An alumnus of the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy, he was commissioned in the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in Jun 1980. He is an alumni of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Higher Command Course, Mhow. The General Officer holds a Master’s Degree in Defence Studies, an M.Phil Degree in Defence and Management Studies, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate.
In a distinguished military career spanning almost four decades, he has the distinction of tenating key command and staff appointments in Peace and Field, both in the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir and has been part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka. He brings with him an enormous amount of experience in serving in the most challenging areas. He has commanded a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion, raised an Infantry Brigade, was Inspector General Assam Rifles (North) and has commanded a prestigious Strike Corps. His staff assignments include tenures as a Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade, Defence Attache at Yangon, Myanmar, an Instructional appointment in the Army War College as Directing Staff in the Higher Command Wing, besides two tenures at the Integrated Headquarters of MoD (Army), New Delhi. He had the privilege of commanding the Republic Day Parade in 2017 in his capacity as GOC Delhi Area. After successfully commanding the Army Training Command, Shimla and the Eastern Command in Kolkata, he held the appointment of Vice Chief of the Army Staff before assuming the appointment of the Chief of the Army Staff on 31 Dec 2019.