Government makes push to deepen ties with China

The Sri Lankan Government is looking to enhance its relationship with China.

Ambassador- designate of Sri Lanka to the People’s Republic of China, Dr. Palitha T. B. Kohona, formally assumed duties at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing.

Prior to the assumption of duties by Dr. Kohona, a Pirith chanting ceremony was conducted by the Most Venerable Zong XingThero, Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China along with four other venerable monks from the Guangji temple in Beijing.  The formal hoisting of the national flag and the lighting of the traditional oil lamp occurred immediately after this, the Foreign Ministry said today.

Addressing the Embassy Staff, including locally engaged staff, Dr. Kohona emphasized the need for all to engage proactively with the local authorities, as well as the Chinese community.

“It was important to develop links with the business community also.  Our objective should be to further enhance the image of Sri Lanka in China, strengthen the Sri Lanka- China bilateral relationship, and promote Sri Lanka as a welcome destination for foreign direct investments, and also encourage bilateral trade links. We should remember that China is the most lucrative market placed in the world today. We also should work hard to encourage more Chinese travelers to visit Sri Lanka,” he said.

He also mentioned that China presented a vast opportunity to Sri Lanka given its surging economy, astounding advancements in science and technology and agriculture.

The event concluded with the Venerable monks being treated to Sri Lankan delicacies.

Dr. Palitha Kohona, was the former Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations (UN) from 2009 to 2015. Until August 2009, he was the Permanent Secretary to the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka and was also the former Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process. He was, previously, the Head of the UN Treaty Section in New York till 2006, the largest arm of the UN office of Legal Affairs.

Ambassador Dr. Kohona received his secondary education in Sri Lanka at St. Thomas College, Mount Lavinia. He obtained a LLB (Hons.) at the University of Sri Lanka, a LLM from the Australian National University in International Trade Law and a Doctorate from Cambridge University in the UK.

Dr. Kohona arrived in China on 15 December 2020 and assumed duties virtually and underwent a 14 days mandatory quarantine. (Colombo Gazette)


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