By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippines and Sri Lanka are set to enhance military cooperation through the development of bilateral training and diplomacy to fight the threats of insurgency.
This, as the Philippine Army (PA) hosted the academic visit of the Defense Services Command and Staff College of Sri Lanka led by Group Captain Varuna Thushara Sampath Sirimanne at the PA headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on Wednesday.
“The activity aims to foster bilateral training and military diplomacy through the exchange of command experiences, knowledge, and strategies of both forces in defeating insurgencies in their respective countries,” the Philippine Army said.
Sirimanne emphasized the vital role of the government and its leaders not just in responding to threats but also in winning the populace support especially during their experience in the Sri Lankan Civil War.
The Sri Lankan Civil War is a 26-year insurgency problem of the South Asian country that started in 1983 and ended in 2009 through an intense military campaign.
The Philippines, for its part, has one of the longest problems in communist insurgency with the more than 50-year fight of the government against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP) coalition.
“The foreign academic travel is an appropriate opportunity for our defense forces to exchange ideas and information and build on our common aspirations and concerns to strengthen and friendship, as individuals, as institutions, and as nations,” said Major General Jesus Sarsagat, Army Chief of Staff.
“Our transformation journey has taught us to put a premium and expertise that we learn from our allies and counterparts in the defense establishments,” he added.
Sarsagat also led a forum that tackled disaster response training, development of cyber security operations, civil-military operations, and counter-terrorism strategies, as well as the importance of Army, Navy, and Air Force’s cooperation in addressing other internal and external threats.