Learn From Ladakh And Abolish The 13th Amendment Or Demilitarize The North And Dig Your Political Grave!
Posted on May 23rd, 2013

Janaka Yagirala

I am no expert on military matters or national security but I can never ignore the uneasy feeling I get when the Army Commander of Sri Lanka states that the number of army camps in Jaffna will be reduced to just 3 from 17. When a persistent request was made by the US, UK and India for this, one cannot help feeling so.

Lets face the facts, the current government since winning the war has done little to win the hearts of the people who voted it into power (and volumes for secessionist and extremist minorities) and let corruption and nepotism go rampant. There is a reason why the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Wonder of AsiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ has ended up as a comedy staple. The current electricity hike has given the anti national garbage forces (opposition in tatters) a new shot of steroids despite the fact that the can do nothing about it should the be in power!

Giving in to Indian and western demands is no good. As we have seen before, allowing India to set up a high commission (aka RAW safehouse) was a big blunder. Before long memorial services were held in the University of Jaffna for LTTE terrorists and the police had a tough time cracking down on these parasites who enjoy free education. After all, it was completely OK for effeminates to hide in female hostels but a big issue when the police entered to bust them.

First of all we need not bother two cents about India. India is just a bully that barks with no bite. All bullies end up buckling down when faced with superior force. When China intruded into Ladakh (Indian sovereign territory), India ended up dismantling key border fortifications and retreated from the Chumar region on May 12th, 2013. It only took a single platoon of 50 Chinese troops get bully India to do so!

Sri Lanka will always benefit from closer ties with China and keeping India at arms length. We must reclaim our tank farms from the IOC, stop importing Indian junk vehicles, stop importing impotent Indian medicine and deport all fake Indian doctors. We have to support our local manufacturing and regain what we lost due to the detrimental free trade agreements with India. One only needs to travel abroad to see the how these trade agreements have trapped us with Indian junk which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. It is time to put an end to the rip off by the Indian junk industry which we help keep afloat by these unfair trade agreements.

The 13 Amendment (13A) is the ultimate Indian cancer in Sri Lanka. The symbol of wanton waste and political inefficiency. Seeing the 13A vanish is the will of all common people of Sri Lanka. Volumes have been written highlighting why they should be abolished, its time that the government finally realize this fact even if it will take a blow to the back of the head. Any act that compromises the achievements of the sacrifice of so many young soldiers will be nothing more than the last nail of the coffin of the current regime. After that the anti-national opposition will come to power and our nation will be doomed.

I’ll echo what so many have said, the people had so much hope in the current regime, that is why it got nearly a 2/3 majority, something deemed impossible. However, nothing has been done to make use of this political blessing. It is late but not completely lost so get it right at least now.

Abolish the 13A without any further delay. The rest of the beneficial reforms can then follow.


17 Responses to “Learn From Ladakh And Abolish The 13th Amendment Or Demilitarize The North And Dig Your Political Grave!”

  1. Senevirath Says:

    reducing camps is digging our own grave. even though the govt reduce camps should not reduce the amount of soldiers. keep all of them in those 3 camps

    douglas devananda”s cat is out of the bag. he says that he is not asking the pound of flesh at this moment but he will do it later

    beware of dogs!

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    In Jaffna only the WORST Tamil racist wins the election. All others LOSE.

    Govt saved that DAYA MASTER twice.

    But look what he did. He tried to join UNP to contest the election!!!

    UNP rejected him.

    UNGRATEFUL Jaffna. Go waste more money on them and create RICH TEs and POOR SLs.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Thank you Lorenzo for posting Gothabha Rajapaksa’s unvarnished comments.

    Gotabhaya has very effectively summarized our own opposition to ANY Devolution of Power to Provincial Councils thus,

    “As the Secretary, Ministry of Defence, my responsibility is to warn the government of the grave repercussions of empowering a hostile provincial administration with land and police powers.

    Police powers in the hands of those still pursuing a separatist agenda can pose a severe threat to national security.

    I cannot impose my will on the political establishment. But, I intend to tell those who still consider the 13th Amendment as panacea for all our ills, it’ll be the primary cause for another conflict.”

    Bravo, Gota … you ALWAYS tell it like it is …. while Craven Pusillanimous Politicians prescribe poison pills for Sri Lanka hiding their nakedness behind foreign fig-leaves and sugar-coating the bitter truth of the consequences of Devolving Power to UNREPENTANT SEPARATISTS.

    RISE UP ….. O Patriots of Mother Lanka …. and SWEEP OUT the 13th Amendment NOW!

  4. Mahinda Wickramarathne Says:

    you can’t spot an army person in north these days unlike the past. why are we so scared of the whites and India?

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    Sri Lanka coalition partner calls to mobilize public against 13th Amendment to Constitution

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    May 24, Colombo: The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a coalition party of Sri Lanka’ ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), said it will take measures to mobilize the public to urge the government to abolish the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

    JHU parliamentarian Ven. Athuraliye Ratana Thero said the public must be mobilized to urge the government to change its stance on the 13th Amendment.

    The Thero’s call to abolish the 13th Amendment came in response to the statement by Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa that the government would not abolish the 13th Amendment.

    At the cabinet press briefing Thursday Minister Yapa said the government has no intention whatsoever to postpone the Northern Provincial Cunicl polls, repeal the 13th Amendment or introduce amendments to the Constitution to remove police and land powers to the provinces.

    Ven. Ratana Thero has observed that the JHU’s proposed motion to amend the Constitution to abolish the provincial council system in the country is to be presented to parliament next week.

    The coalition party Wednesday revealed party’s proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution primarily to repeal the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which paved way for the power devolving Provincial Council system in the island.

    The party says 13th Amendment to the Constitution was enacted consequent to the Indo- Sri Lanka Accord being entered into between the President of Sri Lanka and the Prime Minister of India in 1987 under duress in defiance of the sovereignty of the people of Sri Lanka,

    The JHU is vehemently against the land and police powers given to the provinces under the 13th Amendment and calls for amending the Constitution to take away those powers from the provinces before holding the elections to the Northern Provincial Council scheduled for September.

    Their call is supported by Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who says that he would never agree to granting police powers to provincial councils according to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

    The Defence Secretary is of the view that granting police powers to provincial councils in future could pose a serious threat to national security and lead to a dangerous situation.

    Minister Yapa said if the government introduces the Constitution or amendments to the Constitution it would be through a consensus by all stakeholders.

    The government would resort to a power devolution process or introduce constitutional changes only through an extensive political interaction with all political parties and other stakeholders and that is why the government took measures to constitute a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to discuss all these issues related to power devolution, police and land powers to PCs and security issues of the provinces, the Minister said.

  6. Marco Says:

    Yes, I agree lets abolish the 13th and dissolve all the Provincial Councils.
    Lets see if Pres Rajapakse is a Politician first and a Statesman second or vice versa

  7. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    JHU Parliamentarian, Venarable Athureliye Rathana Thero, would be thrice blessed to harness the support of all Mahanayakes and the Maha Sangha,of Sri Lanka, and all other Clergy of other Relegions, to mobilize all the people of Sri Lanka for its effort to abrogate the 13th Amendment. They should all come out onto the Streets, when the matter is taken up in Parliament. Let Minister Yapa bite his own tongue, in his attempt to despise the Soldiers and the Civilians who gave their lives and limbs, to keep him and others who think alike, still living, enjoying themselves at Peoples expense, and being traitors to Sri Lanka. Disgusting.

  8. Chanaka B Says:

    Camps have already been toned down, this should not be done any further

  9. Ananda-USA Says:

    FULL POWER DEVOLUTION including Land and Police Powers to Murderous Tamil Separatists Defeated only Yesterday?

    These demands arise because ALL TRAITORS & SEPARATISTS who brought Sri Lanka’s to its knees were NOT PUNISHED adequately. They are still posing as “Freedom Fighters” not Murderers Gone Beserk.

    No other country that had defeated separatists in war (USA, Nigeria, Britain) has ever contemplated DEVOLVING POWER to the DEFEATED enemies of the Unified State. NEVER!

    So why is this being allowed in Sri Lanka?

    RISE UP …. O Patriots of Mother Lanka … and EXPUNGE the 13th Amendment, rammed down our throats by India at the point of the gun, from Sri Lanka’s Constitution … NOW!

    Sri Lanka Tamil party calls for full power devolution to provinces

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    May 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s major Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has insisted on complete power devolution to the provinces through the 13th Amendment to the Constitution since problems over the provincial councils are due to the incomplete devolution of power by successive governments.

    TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran said yesterday that the respective governments had appointed committees that have made various proposals but the problems over the provincial councils in the country have not been resolved through the years.

    Premachandran said the TNA expects nothing less than complete devolution of financial, police and land powers to the provinces through the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

    Successive governments had come up with various proposals from time to time since the police and land powers have been devolved partly.

    According to Premachandran, late President Ranasinghe Premadasa had appointed the Mangala Munasinghe Commission, and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga came up with another solution. The present government appointed the All Party Representative Committee (APRC), he noted.

    Premachandran said that the governing party needed to resolve its stance on the devolution of power among its coalition partners since they are expressing differing views.

    The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a coalition party of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), said it will take measures to mobilize the public to urge the government to abolish the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which devolve powers to the provinces.

    The JHU is vehemently against the land and police powers given to the provinces under the 13th Amendment and calls for amending the Constitution to take away those powers from the provinces before holding the elections to the Northern Provincial Council scheduled for September.

    Their call is supported by Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who says that he would never agree to granting police powers to provincial councils according to the 13th Amendment.

    The Defence Secretary is of the view that granting police powers to provincial councils in future could pose a serious threat to national security and lead to a dangerous situation.

    However, the Tamil MP said complete powers including land and police powers need to be devolved to the provinces for a sustainable solution.

  10. Ananda-USA Says:

    The JHU, demanding REPEAL of the 13th Amendment, asks GOSL to POSTPONE PC Elections until ALL enthnically cleansed Sinhalese and Muslims are RESETTLED in the NORTH!

    Bravo, JHU!

    JHU to mount “three pronged approach” to abolish 13th Amendment

    By Franklin R. Satyapalan
    May 25, 2013

    The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), an important constituent party in the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government, yesterday unveiled a “three pronged approach” to abolish the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

    JHU spokespesman, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said the party would mobilize the public to urge the government to change its stand on the 13th Amendment by holding awareness rallies countrywide from the June 1, canvass the support of political parties in government and as well as the opposition and present a private member’s motion in Parliament after the conclusion of the Vesak celebrations.

    JHU sources said that the decision to take to the streets and “go before the people” was made in the backdrop of the statement made by Cabinet spokesman, Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa that the government had no intention of abolishing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution or postpone the Northern PC polls scheduled for September this year.

    “We are totally against the holding of the polls to the Northern PC as we believe the local and international political situation and pressures being brought to bear could have serious implications for the country”, they said.

    If the polls should be held in the North, then the Sinhala and Muslim people who were ethnically cleansed from the North should be resettled. There were about 20,000 Sinhalese living in the Jaffna district earlier. All of them should be resettled before the polls are conducted”, the sources said.

    When asked whether there was sufficient time before the scheduled elections in September to resettle these people, the sources replied “In that case, let the government postpone the polls until such time all Muslims and Sinhalese were resettled”.

    Warnasinghe said that there would be no problem as the majority of the displaced Tamils are being resettled. All the IDP camps had been closed down.

    Asked about the implications the government would face from neighboring India and the international community if it abolished the 13th Amendment and went back on holding the Northern PC poll, Warnasinghe said that Sri Lanka, as a Sovereign country, need not give into pressures from any quarters, be it India or the international community.

  11. Ananda-USA Says:

    My Dear Sonia,

    Since the Tamil Separatists in Sri Lanka have your support, please adore and worship these Maoists these “Freedom Fighters” too!

    Oh, by the way, I recommend Full and Complete Devolution of Power to these Maoist Freedom Fighters so they can achieve their “Legitimate Aspirations” outside of India’s control …. as you Indians prescribe to Sri Lanka.

    When 800 million people of India are under the control of Maoists during the night, in areas the Indian government claims to control by day, I would say that your saree is on fire!

    Good Luck with swallowing that poison pill of Devolving Power to Terrorists claiming to be Freedom Fighters!

    Sonia Gandhi ‘devastated’ by India Chhattisgarh ambush

    May 26, 2013

    The president of India’s Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, has said she is “devastated” by Saturday’s attack on party officials in Chhattisgarh state.

    At least 24 people were killed, including Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nandkumar Patel, his son, and local leader Mahendra Karma, when suspected Maoist rebels ambushed their convoy.

    Mrs Gandhi visited some of the wounded with PM Manmohan Singh on Sunday.

    The prime minister said India would “never bow down” before the rebels.

    He denounced the “barbaric attack” which he said should be an inspiration in the fight against extremism and violence.

    Unconfirmed reports said they were unable to visit the scene of the attack because of security concerns.

    ‘Firm action’

    The convoy carrying state Congress leaders and party workers was ambushed at around 17:30 (10:00 GMT) on Saturday as it travelled through the Darba Ghati valley, in the Sukma area about 345km (215 miles) south of Raipur, following a campaign rally.

    Police said the convoy was first forced to stop by felled trees on the road. At least one vehicle at the front of the convoy was then hit by a land-mine blast before as many as 200 suspected rebels opened fire, they added.

    The main target of the attack is believed to have been Nandkumar Patel, who witnesses said jumped into a ditch with his son, Dinesh, to take shelter before they were abducted. Their bodies were later found nearby; the Congress chief was reportedly mutilated.

    Mr Karma was found dead at the scene. A former home minister in Chhattisgarh, he founded the Salwa Judum, a local militia given the task of fighting the Maoists which has been accused of abuses.

    Former federal minister Vidya Charan Shukla was among the 32 people wounded in the ambush, many of them seriously, police said.

    He was taken to hospital outside Delhi where his condition was described as stable.

    Mrs Gandhi denounced the “dastardly attack” on India’s democratic values, words reiterated by the prime minister as they visited Raipur.

    Congress party leader Mahendra Karma with his bodyguards. File photo Mahendra Karma was instrumental in setting up a movement to fight the Maoists

    “Those who have lost their lives in this barbaric attack are martyrs of democracy,” Mr Singh tweeted from Raipur, where many of the wounded are being treated.

    Maoist rebels, also known as “Naxalites”, have been operating in central and eastern India for the past four decades. They demand land and jobs for the poor, and ultimately want to establish a “communist society” by overthrowing India’s “semi-colonial, semi-feudal” form of rule.

    After attending an emergency meeting in Delhi with the prime minister, Mrs Gandhi described the attack in Chhattisgarh as “shocking”.

    “Naturally, we are devastated,” she told reporters. “It is despicable that ordinary people engaged in political activity were attacked.”

    The prime minister had also spoken by telephone to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and promised him all “necessary aid”.

    “Government will take firm action against the perpetrators of violence of any kind,” he said in a statement.

  12. Ananda-USA Says:

    In the above article on the Attack by Maoist Terrorists in Chattisgargh, India, note the following statement:

    “However, Gill said the state government was incapable of devising a strategy to tackle the Maoist threat. “They don’t have the political will and bureaucratic and police set-up to prevent such attacks,” he said.

    He said the state government had ignored the need for special forces to tackle the threat. “Most of the special forces in the state are being used for non-operational duties like guarding state politicians,” he said.”

    Likewise, if LAND and POLICE powers are vested with a Tamil majority Provincial Council in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, they will not have the “political will, and the bureaucratic and police setup” … to put it mildly …. “to prevent such attacks”.

    In fact, it will be the TNA-dominated Provincial Government that will initiate and orchestrate such attacks.

    Only the central government can enforce the necessary action to maintain peace in the NATIONAL INTEREST which is not shared by the TNA separatists.

    If the TNA gets control of the Northern Province, and land and police powers to boot, there will be INTERMINABLE CONFLICTS between the Central Government and the ProvincialGgovernment setting the stage for another Eelam War …. this time possibly with ACTIVE Tamil Nadu participation.

    Why would ANY GOSL allow such a security threat to arise and threaten the lives and livelihoods of ALL of Sri Lanka’s people …. all over AGAIN? But, such STUPIDITY is at the heart of the impending PC Elections in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Are we to gift to the Tamil Separatit Terrorists in PEACE what they failed to win in Murderous War? Have all of our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, police and civilians DIED IN VAIN?

    Rise Up …. O Patriots of Mother Lanka …. and COMPEL the Government of Sri Lanka to REPEAL the 13th Amendment rammed down Sri Lanka’s throat by India; an India that does not even know how to maintain its own territory free of terrorism!

    Rise Up …. O Patriots of Mother Lanka …. and GET RID OF the 13th Amendment and the Provincial Councils NOW before it is TOO LATE!

  13. Ananda-USA Says:

    Rise Up …. O Patriots of Mother Lanka …. GET RID OF the 13th Amendment and the Provincial Council System designed to create a Patchwork Quilt of Racist Apartheid Bantustans in Sri Lanka.

    Rise up … O Patriotic Sons and Daughters of Lanka …. your Motherland needs you to DEFEND her NOW! Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country … NOW!

    Let Sri Lanka move CONFIDENTLY towards the goal of ONE Indivisible Nation, of ONE Inseparable People, sharing ONE Indomitable Destiny!

    Provincial council system fails to address the problems of Sri Lanka’s North and East – JHU

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    May 27, Colombo: An ally of Sri Lanka’s governing party, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), says the provincial council system was introduced to address the problems of the North and East, but has so far failed to resolve the issue.

    JHU parliamentarian Ven. Athuraliye Ratana Thero has said that the JHU’s decision to move a motion seeking the abolition of the provincial council system was based on many reasons that range from the illegal manner in which the Constitution was amended to establish the Provincial Council system to its failure to address the issues in the North and East.

    “The Provincial Council system was brought about as a solution to the problems in the North and East. Over 5,000 Indian forces personnel sacrificed their lives in Sri Lanka’s North and East in order to get this system implemented. However, the terrorists in the North and East did not agree to the Provincial Council system. Therefore, the system has not solved the North and East issue. This is an issue that has been coming from the past,” he has explained.

    According to Ven. Ratana Thero, the worst clause in the amendment is on the merging of provinces if there were no objections between the respective provinces.

    “Under this clause, the North and East provinces were merged on the basis of the area being the traditional homeland of the Tamil people. This is a wrong concept and it cannot be proven with historical facts,” he has observed.

    “After considering all these reasons, the JHU will introduce to parliament next week a motion to repeal the Provincial Council system,” Ven. Ratana Thero has said.

    He has added that the JHU would speak to other parties including the UNP, TNA and the JVP to get their support for the draft motion.

    The Thero has noted that the party was looking at people’s support before looking for government support for its draft motion to amend the Constitution and repeal the Provincial Council system in the country.

  14. Ananda-USA Says:

    While PATRIOTS rush to her DEFENSE, here is another group of TRAITORS from the LSSP stabbing Mother Lanka in the back.

    Our MEMORIES are LONG; we will NEVER FORGET who the TRAITORS are.

    Sri Lanka’s leftist ministers to support Tamil party on the 13th Amendment

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    May 27, Colombo: Several ministers in the Sri Lankan government are to support the major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in demanding the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

    Leader of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) and Minister of Technology and Research, Prof. Vitarana, General Secretary of the Communist Party (CP) and Minister of Human Resources, D.E.W. Gunasekera, and Leader of the Democratic Left Front (DLF) and Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, Vasudeva Nanayakkara had reportedly met a group of TNA parliamentarians.

    The meeting had taken place last week at the Parliament Complex.

    TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran said the meeting between the leftist ministers was an encouraging sign given that certain elements within the government are opposed to the 13 Amendment.

    He has observed that the three ministers had said the 13th Amendment should not be weakened and the Northern Provincial Council polls should be conducted in a manner without destabilizing the amendment.

    The ministers had also said that land and police powers should not be stripped off the 13th Amendment.

    Two allying parties of the government, Jathika Hela Urumaya and National Freedom Front oppose giving land and police powers to the provinces and call to abolish the 13th Amendment.

  15. Ananda-USA Says:

    JHU to hand over private member’s motion on abolishing 13 A tomorrow

    by Ranil Dharmasena
    May 27, 2013

    The Jathika Hela Urumaya would hand over a private member’s motion to the Secretary General of Parliament tomorrow, seeking to repeal the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which established the Provincial Councils, Western Provincial Council Minister Udaya Gamanpila said yesterday.

    Gamanpila told The Island that the Sinhala and English versions of the proposed draft bill were ready and the Tamil translation too would be ready by today.

    After handing over the bill, they would meet all political parties represented in Parliament, including the Tamil National Alliance, to apprise them of the importance of abolishing the 13th Amendment.

  16. Ananda-USA Says:

    Jayawewa! A 3rd Expressway for Sri Lanka.

    May the Noble Triple Gem Bless and Protect China … the Stalwart Friend of Sri Lanka.

    China to fund construction of Northern Expressway in Sri Lanka

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    May 28, Beijing: China has pledged to provide further funding to develop Sri Lanka’s transport sector that includes a number of expressways, road networks and railway lines.

    During bilateral discussions held between Sri Lanka and China in Beijing Tuesday, the two countries signed an agreement for China to fund the construction of a new Northern Expressway from Colombo to Jaffna.

    As a part of the proposed aid to develop Sri Lanka’s transportation sector, the Chinese government will also aid developing a Colombo-Kandy-Kurunegala expressway and extending the southern expressway from Matara to Kataragama.

    Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris, speaking to Chinese investors and representatives of the corporate sector of China at an event in Beijing today presented main advantages Sri Lanka can offer as a destination for investment and trade.

    The event “Sri Lanka: Promising Business Destination” was organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing and the Export Development Board.

    The programme emphasized on matching arrangements between Sri Lankan and Chinese companies for the purpose of increasing volumes of trade between the two countries.

  17. Ananda-USA Says:

    China pledges to continue support to Sri Lanka’s development

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    May 28, Beijing: Sri Lanka and China held bilateral talks Tuesday to discuss further strengthening the relations on number of areas when the visiting Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa met with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan welcomed President Rajapaksa accompanied by the First lady of Lady Shiranthi Wikaramasinghe Rajapaksa at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing this afternoon.

    The Sri Lankan President was received a 21-gun salute and inspected a Guard of Honor when he arrived at the Great Hall of the People.

    The two countries pledged to work towards further strengthening relations in several areas including trade, tourism and investment.

    President Rajapaksa thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for China’s continued support to Sri Lanka in a number of spheres. He also congratulated President Jinping, who took over as China’s new president in March of this year, and said his assumption to this high office is testament to the confidence that the Chinese people have in him.

    He said that his many visits to the East Asian nation have helped him gain a deep and profound understanding of China’s political, economic and social dynamics, and that he looks forward to working closely with the new administration.

    President Jinping, recalling the long-standing ties between China and Sri Lanka, said that the fact that President Rajapaksa is visiting China for the seventh time is an indication of the strength of the relation between the two countries and said he looks forward to further strengthening bilateral ties during his tenure.

    During the bilateral meeting, the two delegations also discussed trade and tourism. The two countries signed an agreement to establish two committees that would work towards a free trade agreement. This would give Sri Lankan products such as apparel, gems and jewelry, tea and rubber wider access in the Chinese market.

    In the area of tourism, Sri Lanka and China agreed to work towards the goal of attracting 100,000 Chinese tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka by 2015.

    China has also pledged support for a number of other projects: Water supply schemes in Attanagalla, Minuwangoda and Kurunegala, an international conference hall in Kandy, an arts theater in Anuradhapura and the development of the national hospitals in Colombo and Ragama.

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