State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake noted that Sri Lanka’s relations with China grew stronger during former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s tenure and when former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was in office.
He said China helped defeat terrorism in Sri Lanka both economically and in the form of military assistance and by crucial support at international fora.
“We must recognise the great contribution made by China as a dependable friend both during good times and in adversity,” he said.
The State Minister said that China now continues to support the development goals of the current Government.
He said that the Rubber-Rice pact between China and Sri Lanka in 1952 cemented the relations between both countries.
The Minister said that the agreement also highlighted the independent foreign policy that a small country like Sri Lanka had the courage to take despite pressure from some western countries that Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, should refrain from contracting with China.
Senanayake also took note of Sri Lanka’s relations with India and other countries.
He said that relations with India was at times not at its best so the current Government worked sincerely to win the trust of neighboring India. (Colombo Gazette)