Sri Lanka-China Friendship Associations holds Symposium to Hail People-To-People Diplomacy

Five major friendship associations working towards enhancing people-to-people diplomacy between Sri Lanka and China organized a symposium yesterday in Colombo to welcome His Excellency Lin Songtian, President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, who is on an official visit to Sri Lanka.

Officials representing the five friendship associations namely, Sri Lanka – China Friendship Association, Sri Lanka China Society, Association for Sri Lanka-China Social and Cultural Cooperation, Sri Lanka China Journalists’ Forum, and Sri Lanka-China Buddhist Friendship Association, jointly organized the event.

“I was born in extreme poverty where rice was a luxury. Only potatoes were available for our all meals. At the same time, we came to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) to learn how to open our economy,” Ambassador Lin Songtian recalled his childhood during the speech.

He says that China is proud of the fact that Sri Lanka has an ancient civilization like China.

“We always unite as one. We always think as one, therefore, China will always support Sri Lanka to develop, as a friend and partner. I visited the Lotus Tower and toured the Colombo Port City, and it is inspiring as it is the hope this country, and it is also giving hope for us,” he said.

Addressing the event, the President of Sri Lanka China Journalists’ Forum, Mr Nalin Aponso commanded the inspiring speech of the His Excellency Lin Songtian adding that, a “significant numbers of journalists have already had the opportunities to visit China and learn about the latest developments in the field of journalism.”

“Our bilateral cooperation between Sri Lanka and China is flourishing day by day. It is a matter of pride that this sincere friendship has been strengthened, despite some bogus accusations and criticisms through various false propagandas,” Mr Aponso added.

Sri Lanka China Journalists Forum

Press Release

16 November 2022

Ambassador Lin standing for a group photo with the Presidents of five major friendship associations after the Symposium

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Note to editors:

BRIEF INTRODUCTIONS OF FIVE FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATIONS;

Sri Lanka – China Friendship Association: Sri Lanka – China Friendship Association (SLCFA) was initially established as the “Ceylon – China Friendship Union” on 21st September 1950 by the Ceylon Communist Party. On 22nd September the Ceylon – China Friendship Union was reorganized and renamed as the Ceylon-China Friendship Association. In October 1952, the Association established a relationship with its then counterpart in China, the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs. After the proclamation of the Republic of Sri Lanka in 1972, the Association was renamed as Sri Lanka – China Friendship Association (SLCFA) on 27th January 1973. Objectives of the SLCFA have always been to support the Socialist Revolution and Socialist Construction of Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and to achieve that inspiration to build a socialist, independent sovereign and nonaligned Sri Lanka based on five principles of  peaceful coexistence

Sri Lanka China Society:  SLCS was founded on 05th October 1981 with the primary objective of promoting the spirit of fellowship, goodwill and cooperation between the people in both Sri Lanka and the People’s Republic of China. During the decades-long journey, the society has demonstrated its exceptional commitment through initiatives that inspired many communities to be a part of. During the Combined-19 Pandemic, the society has implemented several welfare projects with the assistance of several Chinese NGOs, particularly providing PPEs, essential medical equipment and medicine to needy hospitals. In addition, the society granted 1000 scholarships to needy students within the last two years.

Association for Sri Lanka-China Social and Cultural Cooperation: ASLCSCC is a non-governmental organization established in 1997 with the foremost objective of promoting people-to-people friendship between Sri Lanka and China. ASLCSCC has created many “first of its kind” activities to strengthen friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation between the two countries during the past 25 years. Focus areas of working are education, culture, youth, women and social development. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the ASLCSCC implemented several welfare projects with its Chinese counterparts.

Sri Lanka China Journalists’ Forum: Sri Lanka China Journalists’ Forum was established in May 2001 with the objective of promoting friendship and mutual understanding between people in both countries while giving emphasis to build relations between journalists by implementing professional and educational programmes to enhance the quality and reliability of journalism. The forum is actively engaged in promoting people-to-people friendships with counterparts. The forum is working together with the All-China Journalists Association, and a founder member of the Belt and Road Journalists Network.

Sri Lanka-China Buddhist Friendship Association: Sri Lanka-China Buddhist Friendship Association was founded on the 27th of August 2015 to further strengthen the immemorial friendship between the Buddhists in Sri Lanka and China. SLCBFA has undertaken a number of projects to enhance Buddhist cooperation between Sri Lanka and China. The spectrum of activities of the association is very wide and had successfully completed a number of projects based on Buddhist principles to promote people-to-people friendship between Sri Lanka and China.

Sri Lanka China Journalists' Forum was established in May 2001 as the Sri Lanka - China Young Journalists' Forum and was in force as a main association that promotes mutual understanding between Sri Lanka and China.

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