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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

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Sino - Lanka ties have strengthened with time - Education Minister

Education Minister Bandula Gunawardene yesterday said that Sino - Lanka ties have been strengthened in an unprecedented manner during President Rajapaksa's tenure.

The Minister was addressing a ceremony at Lumbini College yesterday to welcome and felicitate Confucius Institute Headquarters Chief Executive and Hanban, Director-General Xu Lin, who arrived on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka.

The Minister further said that China Lanka friendship which began with FA-Hsiens visit has grown in economic, social, political and cultural terms.

"China plays a key role in a country's Sustainable Development. We are highly impressed by the role played by China in the development of economic, social and cultural sectors of Sri Lanka, " he added.

The Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Performing Arts Theatre, Hambantota Port, Mattala Airport and Norochcholai power plant have been gifted to Sri Lanka by China.

"The high level exchanges between our two governments and other interactions in areas of mutual interest have have strengthen

the long standing ties. In fact, it will be right to say that relations between China and Sri Lanka are at its highest level of friendship and understanding," he said.

He said it will be possible to deepen the cooperation and friendship between the two countries with greater trade, more cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

He said Sri Lanka looks forward to increasing cooperation in trade and investment with China as the country has already taken many steps to improve the investment environment. "Today, the Chinese language has gained a foothold globally. Especially, it is gaining wide popularity in Western European countries," he added.

Confucius Institute Headquarters Chief Executive and Hanban Director-General Xu Lin said around 10 Chinese teachers have been sent to Sri Lanka to teach the Chinese language to Sri Lankan students through two Confucius Centers at Lumbini College and the Kelaniya University.

She said Sri Lankan students have paid great interest in learning the Chinese language since China is a fast moving nation in the world.

Around 400 Sri Lankan students had completed the language programmes conducted by the two Confucius Centers with eight scholarships granted to students to learn the Chinese language in China.

"We hope to further increase the number of scholarships granted to Sri Lankan students," she said.

 

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