New Delhi/ Kathmandu: As a mark of respect, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan will be sending top Army officials to the cremation of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika that will take place on Friday (December 10). Bangladesh will be represented by a 3-star general.
The cremation is expected to take place at Brar Square crematorium in Delhi Cantonment. Sri Lanka will be represented by Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Sri Lankan Army, Gen Shavendra Silva. He will be accompanied by Ex CDS Adm Ravi Wijegunaratne, (Retd) who was the coursemate of CDS from National Defence College, India.
The Royal Bhutan Army will be represented by Brig. Dorji Rinchen, Deputy Chief Operations Officer, Royal Bhutan Army. He is the second senior most officer of the Royal Bhutan Army after the Chief Operations Officer. Nepali army will be represented by Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt General Bal Krishna Karki who will be representing the Chief of Army Staff Gen Prabhu Ram Sharma.
Indian Army and defence establishment has close linkages with forces of neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bhutan. Gen Bipin Rawat as the Indian Army chief was conferred the honorary general of Nepalese Army. He was made the honorary General of the Nepal Army in March 2017 at a special ceremony at Nepal President’s official residence. As a tradition, Indian and Nepali armies confer honorary rank of General to each other’s chiefs which signify the close military ties both countries have.
A lot of countries will be represented by the defence attaches based in Delhi. In some cases, envoys of foreign missions based in Delhi will also be representing their countries. In the aftermath of the tragic death of General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 defence personnel, there was an outpouring of condolences.
More than 20 countries have reacted so far. These are the US, France, Russia, Israel, UK, Australia, Poland, Czech Republic, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Singapore, EU, Sweden, Bangladesh, Oman, Iran, UAE and Greece. The Presidents of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Prime Ministers of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba and Bhutan Lotay Tshering were among the first to react and send messages of condolences.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III in a message said, “General Rawat left an indelible mark on the course of the U.S.-India defense partnership and was at the center of the Indian Armed Forces’ transformation into a more jointly integrated warfighting organization.”