Asia has changed today due to China, which rose from friendship with countries and self-reliance – Sri Lanka PM

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that the whole of Asia has undergone a change today due to the friendship with other countries and self-reliance.

The Prime Minister made this observation at a ceremony held at the Nelum Pokuna Theater yesterday afternoon (17) to mark the 65th anniversary of Sino-Sri Lankan diplomatic relations and the 70th anniversary of the Rubber-Rice Agreement.

Acting Chairman of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka Weerasumana Weerasinghe presented the Commemorative Summary on the 65th Anniversary of China-Sri Lanka Diplomatic Relations to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former President Maithripala Sirisena, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and other party leaders.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister thanked the President of China Xi Jinping for all the kind words and the action behind those words.

“I am confident that the strong bonds between our nations will be further strengthened by the deep-rooted friendship that we share among our people,” he said.

“China is a country with a long history. And it’s a great history. I think the philosophy of Confucius may have helped to nurture that great history.”

Another important point in Chinese history is that China was a large country but never invaded any country and never allowed its motherland to be subjugated by any foreign force. In the past, all attempts by world powers to capture China failed. To this day, China has been able to remain a united state.

History states that relations between Sri Lanka and China date back to 2000 years ago. Friendship between the two countries has grown through Buddhism, international trade and cultural ties.

New China was born in 1949, facing various invasions.

Dr. Sugishwara Wickremasinghe has taken steps to maintain relations with Chinese leaders politically. He attended the inaugural ceremony of the founding of the World Federation of Trade Unions held in Paris in 1945. Chinese leaders also attended. It is there that the building of political relations between Sri Lanka and China begins.

The first political delegation to visit China included Philip Gunawardena, S.D. Bandaranayake, Edmund Samarakkody and SGS Ratnaweera.

Thereafter the Sri Lanka-China Friendship Association was established. It was headed by Ven. Udakandawala Siri Saranankara Thero, and included Kusuma Gunawardena, Theja Gunawardena, Peter Keuneman, and S.D. Bandaranayake. In fact, the Rubber Rice Pact (1952) can be called another milestone in the friendship.

In fact, the foundation of friendship was laid during the 1956 Mahajana Eksath Peramuna government. The late Mr. Bandaranaike made a clear change in foreign policy. He established relations with socialist states.

The Left Movement, the Trade Union Movement and the Young Student Movement waged massive struggles for the recognition of China and the establishment of diplomatic relations with China. I attended those rallies when I was a student at Thurstan College.

I remember the first Ambassador to China was Wilmot A. Perera. He was a pioneer in the Sooriyamal Movemnet. After that A.B. Perera, Robert Gunawardena and William Gopallawa strengthened the friendship between the two countries. TB Subasinghe played a special role.

After 1978, China embarked on new economic strategies. Between 1978 and 2010 there was a very rapid development. Over the past decade, China has implemented two new economic programs. The first was the implementation of the New Silk Road Project. Sri Lanka is also a founding member. The second project was the eradication of extreme poverty. It was able to lift 800 million people out of extreme poverty. It was an unprecedented victory in world history.

China is the largest market in the world today. That is why foreign exchange is flowing. China has already become the world’s second largest economy. The whole of Asia has changed because of China.

China stood on its own two feet with the friendship between countries. China is our historical ally. China is also a true friend. I should mention that here.

The current President of China Xi Jinping is a personal friend of ours as well as a good friend of Sri Lanka. He assists us in development projects in Sri Lanka.

The current President of China Xi Jinping is a personal friend of ours as well as a good friend of Sri Lanka. He assists us in development projects in Sri Lanka.

It should be noted that China has entered a new era since 2012 under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping. I would like to mention that his leadership was a key factor in changing the fate of China and giving China the success it is experiencing today. Otherwise the China we see today would not exist.

I also virtually participated in the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is scheduled to be held in 2022 and I take this opportunity to wish it success.

We also issued a commemorative coin to mark the 65th anniversary of China-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations. We did it as a symbol of our friendship.

China has been friendly with Sri Lanka at every crucial juncture. It is our hope and responsibility to continue to strengthen the friendship between China and Sri Lanka.

Former President Maithripala Sirisena, former Prime Minister and Leader of the United National Party Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of the Mahajana eksath Peramuna Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Leader of the Democratic Left Front Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Leader of the National Freedom Front Wimal Weerawansa, Leader Minister of the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Udaya Gammanpila, Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong, Acting Chairman of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka Weerasumana Weerasinghe, Leader of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party Prof. Tissa Vitharana, Leader of the Sri Lanka Mahajana Party Asanka Navaratne, Wasantha Samarasinghe, Member of the Central Committee of the JVP, DEW Gunasekera, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka Dr. G. Weerasinghe, and Anniversary Committee Secretary Prof. KDN Weerasinghe also participated in the occasion.


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