February 13, 2020
Israel is willing to assist Sri Lanka to digitalise its state sector while strengthening military ties, sharing intelligence and offer more training opportunities for Sri Lanka Police and Tri Forces personnel.
While extending assistance to Sri Lanka in developing its agriculture, education, transportation and information technology sectors, Israel is prepared to share its expertise in enhancing the country’s emerging cyber security capabilities to face future challenges, Israeli Ambassador to Sri Lanka Dr. Ron Malka when he met Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne at the Ministry, on Wednesday (12).
He said Israel was very interested in improving bilateral ties with Sri Lanka and they would extend whatever assistance needed for its economic development.
“Israel’s advanced technical sector is one step ahead and is always developing new innovations and there are a number of avenues where expertise could be shared in the agriculture, fisheries, education, health, technology and other sectors,” he said.
While mentioning of his county’s contribution to develop an agricultural project in India, he said that it had benefitted thousands farmers there. “Proper irrigation management is an integral part of agriculture. There should be a holistic approach to water management and Israel is prepared to provide help to promote drip irrigation here”, he further said.
Maj. Gen. Gunaratne, said that the country’s economy had hit rock bottom after the Easter Sunday attacks and it was President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who had given a new sense of hope for the nation. “People have placed their faith on him and he will put the country back on track as he has proven his ability in the past, steering the armed forces to eradicate terrorism from Sri Lanka”, he said.
Explaining importance given by the present administration on digitalising its state sector, Maj. Gen. Gunaratne welcomed Israel’s assistance in this regard.
He also said he expected the two countries to share intelligence, especially on organized drug trafficking as Israel was reputed for maintaining one of the best intelligence services in the world.
On a positive note, Maj. Gen. Gunaratne said Israeli and Sri Lankan armed forces and Police personnel could share their knowledge, experience and training for mutual benefit.
“Sri Lanka and Israel face common challenges and there is much space for sharing expertise between both countries”, Ambassador Malka said.
The Israeli Ambassador had also met the President earlier in the day.
The Political Advisor of the Israeli Embassy, Noa Hakim was also present at the occasion.