The Sri Lankan plans to swim across the Palk Strait from Sri Lanka to India and back

Reinforcing the warm relationship between the two countries, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka will facilitate a challenging return swimming expedition across the Palk Strait by a Sri Lankan Air Force officer.

Leading Aircraftman Roshan Abeysundara plans to swim across the Palk Strait, from Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi in India and back, covering an approximate distance of 60 km, the Indian High Commission informed in a statement.

Though 14 swimmers have crossed the Palk Strait to date, this unique feat of swimming back has been undertaken by only one Sri Lankan swimmer, Kumar Anandan in 1971. He took 51 hours to complete the event.

“The High Commission is happy to facilitate necessary arrangements on the Indian side, and extends best wishes to the ace swimmer for success in his forthcoming endeavour,” the Indian High Commission said.

India and Sri Lanka Defence forces have traditionally shared close relationship in defence training and capacity building, the statement noted.

32-year-old Roshan Abeysundar is a product of Mathara Central College. An enlisted airman of Sri Lanka Air Force since 2008, he has successfully participated in various adventure sea- swimming expeditions in Sri Lanka.

With great determination, he successfully completed Sri Lankan National Swimming record of 49km in 23 hours on 26 March this year.

Through this expedition, Abeysundara will spread awareness about Fit Sri Lanka Movement. The endeavour also symbolises India - Sri Lanka connectivity at the people’s level and their close and friendly ties through millennia, the statement added.

Demonstrating the close ties shared by the two countries, the event will be flagged off in the presence of Archana Ramesh, Consul from Consulate General of India, Jaffna and Air Cmde SN Fernandopulle, Director Sports from Sri Lanka Air Force.