Chinese ambassador – Mr. Qi Zhenhong says that China “will continue to firmly support Sri Lanka in pursuing a development path that suits its own national conditions, getting rid of the “poverty trap” and the “trap of non-development”, and safeguarding its independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity.”
10th anniversary of BRI
Speaking yesterday (28) at the reception to mark the 74th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, the ambassador also said, “This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping. Over the past ten years under the BRI cooperation, more than 150 countries including Sri Lanka and 32 international organizations have made great progress in connectivity, infrastructure, trade, and investment, with about 3,100 joint projects bringing tangible benefits to the world. As the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, I am more than happy to highlight the major projects between our two countries such as the Katunayake Expressway, the Southern Expressway, the CICT, the Hambantota Port and the Port City Colombo etc.”
The ambassador also welcomed “all countries including Sri Lanka aboard the express train of China’s development.”
The event was the first of its kind held in Colombo since the Covid-19 pandemic.
4 former Presidents & diplomats including the US ambassador
Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation – Nimal Siripala de Silva attended as the Chief Guest of the event, which was also graced by a host of distinguished guests including the Prime Minister, diplomats, several ministers, military officers, officials and embassy staff.
It was singular that four former Presidents of Sri Lanka – namely Ms. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena and Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa attended the event.
Among the distinguished diplomatic community that attended the event, US ambassador to Sri Lanka – Ms. Julie Chung was also in attendance.
SLAF receives 2 Harbin Y-12 IV aircraft from China (Pics)
The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) ceremoniously received two Harbin Y-12-IV aircraft at the SLAF Base in Ratmalana today (Nov. 05).
The formal proceedings commenced with the signing of documents symbolizing the transfer of the Harbin Y-12-IV aircraft to the Sri Lanka Air Force. Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa and Mr. Den Ling from China National Aero Technology Import & Export Cooperation presided over this key moment, marking the official handover.
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China – Mr. Qi Zhenhong, State Minister of Defence – Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, – Mr. Sagala Ratnayake, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence – General Kamal Gunaratne (Retd), Chief of Defence Staff – General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Navy – Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, Chief of Staff of the SLAF, Members of the Air Force Board of Management, officials of the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, members of the CATIC from China and representatives of CATIC Sri Lanka, senior officers of the SLAF and other officials graced the ceremony.
Addressing the gathering, Commander of the Air Force, expressed gratitude for the strategic partnership and elaborating the significance of the new additions to the Sri Lanka Air Force’s fleet. He emphasized the continued commitment to strengthening international collaborations, highlighting the value of the Harbin Y-12 IV aircraft in enhancing the Air Force’s operational capabilities.
(pics : airforce.lk)
Returned artefacts displayed at Colombo National Museum (Pics)
Following a milestone in international relations and provenance research, six priceless Kandyan artefacts seized during the Dutch colonial occupation of Sri Lanka have been returned from the Netherlands.
These Kandyan artefacts will be on public display at the Colombo National Museum from today (Nov. 05) until further notice.
A commemorative postage stamp issued during the event serves as a symbolic marker, celebrating the milestone in international relations and provenance research. The event took place at the National Museum today, presided over by the Minister of Buddha Sasana and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Vidura Wickramanayake, and the President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka. This marked a significant step in cultural collaboration between the two nations.
The exhibits include golden and silver kasthãné (ceremonial swords), two maha thuwakku (wall guns), and Lewke Disave’s cannon, which were originally taken as war booty by the Dutch East India Company in 1765, during the siege of the Palace of Kandy.
In attendance at this distinguished occasion were the Minister of State for Media, Shantha Bandara, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Sri Lanka, Ms. Bonnie Horbach, the Ambassador for International Cultural Cooperation at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Dewi van de Weerd, Ambassador of Egypt in Sri Lanka Maged Mosleh the Secretary to the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Somaratne Vidanapathirana, the Director General of the National Museum Department, Sajani Kasturiarachchi, and several distinguished officials from both the Netherlands and Sri Lanka.
(President’s Media Division)
Russian Lit. Fest held in Colombo (Pics)
The Russian House in Colombo hosted the much anticipated annual Literature festival yesterday (Nov. 22), amid the excitement of Literary enthusiasts in the island.
Russian Literary greats Rasul Gamzatov, Leo Tolstoy and Ivan Turgenev were commemorated at the event.
A unique photo exhibition out front showcased the estates where the literary greats had lived and created their iconic pieces – Tolstoy’s Yasnaya Polyana and Turgenev’s Spasskoye-Lutovinovo. Photo archives were provided by the Director of the Russian House in Colombo, Madam Maria Popova, and the writer for the Russky Mir magazine, Irina Ivina.
Max Dimov, Deputy Chief Editor of “Moscow Media”, addressed the gathering with a video message.
During his visit to the Russian House in July, he had made friends among the founders of the Russian Literary Club, famous philologists, writers and translators Ranjana Senasinghe and Felix Fernando.
For the first time ever, the festival program also showcased the works of contemporary Russian authors in Sinhala.
Felix Fernando presented his translation of an international bestseller book by Evgeny Vodolazkin, ‘the most important living Russian writer’ according to the New Yorker. His novel “Laurus” was dubbed as ‘a new statesman book of the year 2016’. On top of that, Fernando also translated a touching New Year short story “I Won’t Tell!” by an extremely popular Russian author, producer, screenwriter and philanthropist Alexander Tsypkin.
Both authors addressed the audience with a video greeting, deeply touched by the interest in their works and happily responded to the invitation to visit Sri Lanka and personally meet the translator.
(Pics : FB of Russian House in Colombo)
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