Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena meeting with a Chinese official delegation thanked China for the support extended to the island nation for more than 60 years.
Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chen Min’er and his delegation called on the Sri Lankan President at the President’s Office Wednesday (Sept 18) and held a detailed discussion on a wide range of subjects on bilateral relations, economic cooperation and regional stability.
During the meeting, the President thanked China for the support extended to Sri Lanka for more than 60 years, especially for the assistance given to defeat the Tamil Tiger terrorists by supplying modern weapons and standing with Sri Lanka at international forums. He added that this support will never be forgotten by the Sri Lankan people.
Chen thanked Sri Lanka for the early recognition given to Beijing since 1950s, accepting the ‘one China policy’ and starting trade relations under Rubber-Rice Agreement even before establishing diplomatic relations.
President Sirisena and the CPC official referring to the successful visits of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Sri Lanka and President Sirisena to China agreed that the visits have resulted in further strengthening close friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
The President said the current visit of CPC leader is also evident of the keen desire to ensure further increase in existing friendly relations and close economic cooperation.
They also discussed about increasing ties between CPC and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). The CPC delegation requested the President, who is also the Chairman of SLFP, to send a SLFP delegation to participate in the next CPC Convention.
SLFP Vice President Nimal Siripala de Silva said that S W R D Bandaranaike founded the SLFP by incorporating the principle of middle path with the socialist policies of Chairman Mao Zedong. He said that the SLFP adapted the socialism and aligned it into the requirement of the Sri Lankan people.
Referring to CPC official’s expertise in rural poverty eradication programs, President Sirisena asked about poverty alleviation programs in China. Chen explained in detail that since 2012, poverty was reduced through various programs to empower rural masses. He said that President Xi has set out targets for officials to achieve poverty reduction goals within a time frame. President Sirisena acknowledged that the Chinese experience would be very useful to similar programs in Sri Lanka to eradicate poverty.
MPs Nimal Siripala de Silva, Mahinda Amaraweera, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Prof Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa represented the SLFP at the discussion. Six members of the Chinese Communist Party attended the discussion. Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan, Secretary to the President, Udaya Seneviratne and Additional Secretary Esala Weerakoon were also present.