The head of Sri Lanka’s air force joined a teleconference call organised by the US military last month, as part of continued military relations between the two governments.
Sri Lanka’s air force commander Sumangala Dias was amongst the participants in the call with 19 air forces across five continents, as they discussed responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The call was organised by the US Pacific Air Forces.
“This virtual meeting of nineteen Air Force leaders really highlighted the importance and agility of air power in support of whole of government efforts to combat COVID-19. It was an extremely timely event for allied and partner sharing and solidarity,” said Brian Woo, PACAF foreign policy advisor.
“At the time, PACS 2019 was considered the most heavily represented event we have hosted to date,” said Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander. “And here we are today, with an equally impressive number attending this virtual gathering. I’m inspired by the continued engagement across this growing network of friends, partners and allies, further validating the interest to find collective solutions to common problems and the commitment we have for each other and the region.”
Participants represented air forces from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Canada, Chile, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States.
The conference took place as the United States continued its military relationship with Sri Lanka, despite blacklisting Shavendra Silva – the current head of the Sri Lankan army – over his involvement in overseeing the execution of Tamils.