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Chinese President Xi Jinping’s envoy proposes to build SL’s largest Buddha statue

21 Nov 2023 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

  • Emphasises on strengthening longstanding cultural ties   

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s special envoy State  Councillor Shen Yiqin who met Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena proposed  to construct Sri Lanka’s largest Buddha statue as a symbol of friendship  between the two countries, according to a statement from the Prime  Minister’s Office. 

  Mr. Gunawardena said there is vast potential for further  expanding economic cooperation between China and Sri Lanka. “Sri Lanka  highly values China’s continuous support to Sri Lanka,” he said when  Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Special Envoy and State Councillor, Shen  Yiqin met him at the Temple Trees Office in Colombo yesterday.   

The Prime Minister, thanking China for the assistance  provided to Sri Lanka to restore the economy after the recent debt crisis,  added that Sri Lanka would welcome public and private investments from  China as well as investments in agriculture for production and export,  renewable energy, IT, education and infrastructure development to  provide long term solutions to economic issues.  

“China’s support has given confidence not only to Sri Lanka  but also other lending countries and international agencies to assist  Sri Lanka’s process of debt restructuring,” he said.  

Ms. Shen Yiqin, who is also the Chairperson of All-China  Women’s Federation said China considers Sri Lanka as a close  longstanding friend and looks forward to expand cooperation, invest in  new projects, Colombo Port City, Hambantota Port, poverty alleviation  programmes, education and agriculture.  

She said China is happy to see the progress made by Sri  Lanka to overcome difficulties and assured China’s continuous support to  the efforts to meet the economic challenges.  

The Prime Minister made a special mention about the Chinese  stand in support of Sri Lanka’s independence and sovereignty at all  international forums. Ms Shen Yiqin assured that China will always stand  for Sri Lanka’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.  

During the meeting, stressing the importance of further  strengthening the longstanding cultural ties, the Chinese Envoy said China  proposes to build Sri Lanka’s largest Buddha statue shortly as a lasting  symbol of religious ties.  

Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong and a group of senior Chinese officials took part in the discussion.  

State Ministers Janaka Wakkumbura, Ashoka Priyantha, Geetha  Kumarasinghe, MPs Sudarshana Denipitiya, Yadamini Gunawardena, Rajika  Wickremasinghe, Muditha De Zoysa, Manjula Dissanayake, Kokila  Gunawardene and Prime Minister’s Secretary Mr. Anura Dissanayake were  also present at this meeting.