Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake
addresses the students at Sichuan University
Hon. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake meets
the Sri Lankan students studying at the Sichuan University. Sri Lankan
Ambassador to China, Mr. Karunathilake Amunugama was also present,
Oct. 28th 2008Pix by : Siri Gunasekara
Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake who is now visiting Sichuan
Province in China addressed the students at the South Asia Institute
of the Sichuan University on relations between Sri Lanka and China over
the centuries. Oct. 28th 2008.
The Sichuan University is one of the oldest and prestigious Universities
in China, established in 1896, now with a student population of over
40000 students of which nearly 1500 are foreign students.
Hon. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake
addresses the student at South Asia Institute of the Sichuan University,
Oct. 28th 2008.
On arrival at the new campus of the University he was given a rousing
welcome by a large gathering of students waving Sri Lanka and Chinese
flags. He was received by the President of the University Xie Heping
who is a distinguished member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
He introduced Mr. Wickramanayake as an old friend of China.
The Prime Minister in his speech gave an overview of relations between
the two countries going back to early centuries of the Common Era when
contacts were established by an exchange of Buddhist missions. When
he mentioned that Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to recognize
the Peoples Republic of China the students gave a wide applause.
The two countries celebrated 50 years of diplomatic relations last year.
Secretary to the Prime Minister, Mr. Mahinda
Bandusena, Sri Lankan Ambassador to China, Mr. Karunathilake Amunugama
and other officials were also present at the Sichuan University.
He observed that 50 years was a short span of life in the history of
a nation but the two countries had come a long way since 1957 and now
they enjoyed a multifaceted relationship. He said that Sri Lanka had
always considered China as a true and sincere friend. He paid tribute
to China for its spectacular growth within the last three decades which
had made China envy of the developed world and thanked China for giving
assistance to many important projects in the country like the Puttalam
power plant and the Hambantota harbour development project.
He also referred to the assistance given by China immediately after
the tsunami both for meeting the immediate humanitarian requirements
and long term reconstruction purposes. He complimented China and its
people for successfully hosting the Beijing Olympics and winning the
largest number of gold medals.
A part of Chinese and foreign students gathered
at South Asia Institute of the Sichuan University.
He stressed that there was a need to forge more academic links between
China and Sri Lanka and called on the Chinese students in the audience
who he described as the future leaders of a great economically important
nation to nurture and carry forward the relations into the future.
After his address the Prime Minister met with Sri Lanka students and
discussed with them the common issues faced by them. There are 18 students
in the University pursuing different disciplines including post-graduate