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‘China a friend to SL through thick and thin’

  • PM notes longstanding bilateral ties at Chinese National Day event

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena recognised China as being Sri Lanka’s “Kalyana Mitra” (very special friend) in his speech at the 73rd Anniversary of Chinese National Day celebration organised by China Sri Lanka Friendship Associations in Colombo on Tuesday (28).

“A ‘Kalyana Mitra’ is a friend who is with you in your times of happiness as well your times of sorrow,” said Gunawardena.

A press release issued by the Prime Minister’s office noted that the Prime Minister, in his speech, had noted that the Rice Rubber pact with China greatly enhanced trade, aid, and investments to expand upon a platform of mutual co-operation and friendship. 

“It was furthered through diplomatic relations respecting Sri Lanka’s independence, sovereignty, safeguarding of the Unitary State, territorial integrity, and Buddhism”.

Gunawardena also pointed out that China has successfully eradicated poverty among 900 million human beings under its unique economic policy, and has set a great example to the world through how it adopted a practical economic model.

“China emerged strong in the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and a new era of development that began with the birth of the People’s Republic of China,” he said.

Premier Gunawardena had also taken a moment to recall Chinese President Xi Jinping’s comment that China and Sri Lanka should be praised for setting an example of friendly coexistence and mutually beneficial co-operation between countries.

“The non-aligned foreign policy of the Progressive MEP Government of 1956 established formal diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and China in 1957, and this stands out as an historic occasion as this year we celebrate the 65th anniversary of China-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations.”

Speaking further, the Prime Minister had also noted that, as of today, China has laid the foundation to become a global giant, changing the international balance of power, whilst its speedy and balanced progress in political, socio-economic, poverty alleviation, cultural, scientific, technological, environment, research and space spheres deserves respect.

Ambassador Qi Zhenhong, and Sri Lanka-China Friendship Association representatives, including Ananda Gunathilake and Chitrananda Abeysekera, also spoke at the ceremony.