India offers to help Sri Lanka redesign air-defence capabilities: report

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (2nd R) arrives to visit the site of a bomb attack at St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - A string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing at least 156 people, including 35 foreigners. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI, June 3 (AFP) – India has offered to assist its southern neighbour Sri Lanka redesign its air-defence network after allegations that Tamil Tiger rebels have acquired at least two aircraft, a report said Friday. NEW DELHI, June 3 (AFP) – India has offered to assist its southern neighbour Sri Lanka redesign its air-defence network after allegations that Tamil Tiger rebels have acquired at least two aircraft, a report said Friday. New Delhi told visiting Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga it is willing to consider all proposals from Colombo, including training Sri Lankan personnel or guidance and advice in designing air defences, the Indian Express daily reported.

Colombo will send a team of senior defence officials to India to discuss the technical details, it said.

The offer was made during talks in New Delhi late Thursday between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Kumaratunga, who is on a three day-visit to India.

Kumaratunga’s government charges that the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have built an airstrip in the north and possess at least two light aircraft.

European truce monitors say they have seen the airstrip from the air but have been denied access by