Australian High Commissioner discusses strengthening border security with Sri Lankan Defence Secretary

Kamal Gunaratne with Paul Stephens

A delegation led by the Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Paul Stephens met Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka, General Kamal Gunaratne at the Defence Headquarters Complex of Sri Lanka in Sri Jayewardenepura, Kotte on Tuesday (December 12) and had a cordial  discussion.

The outgoing Commander, Joint Agency Task Force (JATF) of Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB) Rear Admiral Justin Jones, newly appointed JATF Commander Rear Admiral Brett Sontor and the Australian Defence Advisor Captain Ian Cain also joined the Australian High Commissioner for the discussion.

Extending a warm reception to the Australian envoy, General Kamal Gunaratne expressed his sincere gratitude for Australia’s assistance in multiple spheres while specially thanking for the support rendered in mitigating the crisis of illegal migrants.

Further, the meeting exemplified the mutual commitment of Australia and Sri Lanka in enhancing ‘Gold Standard’ cooperation of both countries on disrupting irregular maritime people smuggling and other transnational crimes.

The High Commissioner highly appreciated the efforts initiated by the Sri Lankan government on the prevention of illegal immigration as well as on-going assistance to the JATF-OSB on military-led border security operations.

The meeting concluded with the exchange of souvenirs to mark the occasion. Chief of National Intelligence Major General Ruwan Kulatunga and Military Liaison Officer Major General Dhammika Welagedara were also present at the occasion.

(Ministry of Defence)