Expecting to add a catalyst to furthering of defence cooperation between India and Sri Lanka and discuss issues of bilateral relevance, Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army, General Bipin Rawat arrived here Sunday (13) afternoon on a seven-day long official visit at the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake.
A red carpet welcome ceremony, comprised by traditional Ves dancers adding grandeur to the occasion greeted him on arrival at the tarmac at Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport. Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army, together with Mrs Chandrika Senanayake, President, Army Seva Vanitha Unit (ASVU) were at the venue to extend a warm welcome to the visiting India’s Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat and his spouse, Mrs Madhulika Rawat.
The five-member delegation is comprised of the spouse of General Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat, Major General Prithi Singh, Brigadier Mukesh Aggarwal and Major Anshul Ahlawat. Major General Anura Sudasinghe, Senior Liaison Officer and Captain Ashok Rao, Defence Adviser at Indian High Commission and senior military Officers were also at the airport to receive the Indian Chief of the Army Staff.
During his stay in Sri Lanka, the visiting Army Chief is scheduled to call on the HE the President, Hon Prime Minister, State Minister of Defence, Defence Secretary, Chief of Defence Staff, Tri-forces Commanders and a few others. Moreover, he will attend wreath-laying ceremonies at the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) cenotaph at Battaramulla. In addition, he is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka Military Academy at Diyatalawa, Trincomalee and Galle during his stay in the isle.
A parallel separate reception, organized by Mrs Chandrika Senanayake, President, Army Seva Vanitha Unit and its members in honour of the spouse of the visiting Army Chief, Mrs Madhulika Rawat, is also scheduled to be held.
A separate welcome ceremony at Taj Samudra Hotel attended by His Excellency Mr. Taranjit Singh Sandhu, High Commissioner of India for Sri Lanka, Major General Ajith Kariyakarawana, Deputy Chief of Staff and several Senior Officers of the Sri Lanka Army greeted him.
General Bipin Rawat’s profile:
General Bipin Rawat, is an alumnus of St. Edward School, Shimla, and the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla; he was commissioned to the Fifth Bn, the Eleventh Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army in December 1978, from IMA, Dehradun, where he was awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’. The officer has vast experience in operations across a wide spectrum of conflict and terrain profiles. He commanded an Infantry battalion, along the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Sector; a Rashtriya Rifles Sector; an Infantry Division in the Kashmir Valley; and, a Corps in the North East. The officer also commanded a Multinational Brigade, in a Chapter VII mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC). As an Army Cdr, he commanded a theatre of ops along the Western Front.
General Rawat’s staff and instructional assignments include, Instructional tenure at IMA Dehradun; General Staff Officer, at the Military Operations Directorate; Logistics staff officer of a Division in Central India; Colonel Military Secretary and Deputy Military Secretary in the Military Secretary’s Branch; and Senior Instructor, Junior Command Wing. He has been Major General General Staff of the Eastern Theatre, and the Vice Chief of the Army Staff.
General Bipin Rawat is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the Higher Command and National Defence College courses and, has attended the Command and General Staff Course at Fort Leavenworth, USA. The officer during the span of over 38 years’ service in uniform has been awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with the UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM; COAS Commendation on two occasions and the Army Commander’s Commendation. Whilst serving with the United Nations, he was twice awarded the Force Commander’s Commendation.
Academically inclined, the General has authored numerous articles on ‘National Security’ and ‘Leadership’ which have been published in various journals and publications. He was awarded M. Phil in Defence Studies from Madras University, and holds two Diplomas, in Management and Computer Studies respectively. General Bipin Rawat completed his research on military media strategic studies and was awarded Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D) from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut. The General officer assumed the appointment of the Chief of the Army Staff on 31 Dec 2016.