Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong delivered a heartfelt speech recently during the School Supplies Donation Hand-over Ceremony in Seethawaka. Ambassador Qi reflected on the historical importance of the region and praised the enduring friendship between China and Sri Lanka.
In his address, Ambassador Qi began by acknowledging the historical significance of Seethawaka as a critical base for Sri Lankans in their fight against Portuguese colonialists. He also paid tribute to Comrade Philip Gunawardena, a renowned Sri Lankan statesman and a dear friend of China, who contributed significantly to the China-Sri Lanka friendship.
Ambassador Qi emphasized the deep-rooted and enduring relationship between China and Sri Lanka, describing them as “good neighbors who respect and trust each other, good partners who benefit each other, and good friends who help each other.” He stressed that this friendship has continued to strengthen, regardless of changes in the international, regional, or domestic landscape.
Acknowledging the challenges faced by Sri Lanka in its development journey, Ambassador Qi expressed his confidence in the strong leadership of President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. He assured that China would continue to support Sri Lanka in achieving sustainable development, overcoming poverty, and safeguarding its independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national dignity.
Ambassador Qi highlighted the importance of the current year for China-Sri Lanka relations, noting recent high-level visits. Prime Minister Gunawardena’s successful visit to Yunnan was mentioned, along with President Wickremesinghe’s upcoming visit to Beijing. He emphasized the need to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of both nations and to bring tangible benefits to the people.
Turning to the importance of education, Ambassador Qi underscored the shared values of China and Sri Lanka in respecting teachers and valuing education as keys to a brighter future. He announced a generous donation from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, consisting of 11,000 school supplies and 43,000 meters of school uniform fabric, valued at over one hundred million rupees. This donation will support underprivileged children in their pursuit of education.
Ambassador Qi expressed his sincere gratitude to the Prime Minister’s Office staff for their dedicated efforts in making the distribution a success. In his closing remarks, he addressed the students, emphasizing their role as the future of Sri Lanka and the China-Sri Lanka friendship. He encouraged them to study diligently and uphold the expectations placed upon them, as they contribute to the development of their country and the strengthening of the friendship between the two nations.
The ceremony was marked by a strong sense of camaraderie and gratitude, symbolizing the enduring friendship between China and Sri Lanka and their shared commitment to education and development.