Cultural welcome to Sri Lanka

Published on LSIS Jake Badior (author and photographer)

Location(s): Colombo, Sri Lanka

Topic(s): HMAS Canberra (L02), HMAS Newcastle (F06), Indo-Pacific Endeavour

Personnel from the Sri Lankan Navy invited ADF members on stage after presenting a cultural dance display in Colombo during INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR 2019. (photo: LSIS Jake Badior)
Personnel from the Sri Lankan Navy invited ADF members on stage after presenting a cultural dance display in Colombo during INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR 2019.

Members of HMA Ships Canberra and Newcastle were given a warm welcome by the Sri Lankan Navy when they recently arrived in Colombo.

The Sri Lankan Navy Band performed a medley of traditional song and dance as a welcome to the Australian Defence Force during their visit as part of INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR (IPE) 2019.

More than 1000 ADF personnel are involved in IPE19, which marks the largest ever Defence engagement between the nations.

Joint Task Force Deputy Commander Captain Andrew Quinn said this was a great start to international relations as part of IPE19. 

“They made us feel extremely welcome and I look forward to spending more time getting to know them during our stay,” he said.

“The cultural display was a spectacular and vivid exhibition of sound and colour, a really great start to the cultural and military exchange.”

Colombo is the first of many port visits during IPE19 aimed at deepening Australia’s partnerships with regional security forces.

Members of the Sri Lankan Navy perform a traditional dance during a cultural display to the ADF in Colombo as part of INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR 2019.

Members of the Sri Lankan Navy perform a traditional dance during a cultural display to the ADF in Colombo as part of INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR 2019.

Able Seaman Electronics Technician Jack Gillies of HMAS Newcastle said he was looking forward to exploring Sri Lanka and learning more about the culture.

“I’m really looking forward to getting out and about, eating some good food and hopefully finding some waves,” he said.

“The display was amazing, the music and dancing was a nice introduction into Sri Lankan culture.”

IPE19 will encompass a wide range of activities spanning humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping operations, multinational naval manoeuvres and military training serials.

Taking part in activities such as IPE19 promotes security and stability in Australia’s near region, and also delivers on the promise of the 2016 Defence White Paper to deepen Australia’s engagement and partnerships with regional security forces.

Additional imagery is available on the Defence Image Gallery: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20190628.