chinese Ambassador’s cordial visit to the Northern Province

chinese Ambassador’s cordial visit to the Northern Province

Nallur Kandaswamy Temple

Ambassador Qi Zhenhong and the delegation at Nallur Kandaswamy Temple


Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong paid a visit to the Northern region of Sri Lanka from December 15 to 17, the Chinese Embassy in Colombo said.
The Ambassador visited many historical and culturally important places in the north during his visit.  
A media communique released by the Chinese Embassy said.
“Ever since Ambassador Qi presented his credentials a year ago, a familiarization and study tour to the north had been planned for long but couldn’t be realized due to the pandemic and other busy schedules.

The Ambassador commenced his official visit from the Jaffna Public Library on the afternoon of December 15. Received by Jaffna Mayor His Worship Viswalingam Manivannan with a traditional Tamil welcome ceremony, Ambassador Zhenhong had a comprehensive tour of the library and donated 5 laptops and plenty of books in different languages to enhance the capacity building and enlarge the collection of this well-known library in Asia.
A fruitful meeting with the Governor of the Northern Province Jeevan Thiagarajah was held at the Governor’s Residence on the evening of December 15. A wide range of topics have been discussed on how to enhance cooperation between China and the NP and improve local Tamil community livelihoods. Governor Thiagarajah invited more Chinese investment and assistance on marine aquaculture, fishing equipment, industries, and IT etc., in the Northern Province, which had received positive response by the Chinese delegation.

Upon the request of the Governor’s Secretariat, the Ambassador donated five sets of ROI (water purification) mobile plants to the province, one unit for each district. The ROI mobile plants of high quality, to be purchased from the local market and assembled/serviced by the SL Navy, will provide fresh water to thousands of needy people in various areas.

On the morning of December 16, Ambassador Qi Zhenhong and Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda inspected the Guilan Sea Cucumber Hatchery and Farm at East Ariyalai, Jaffna. They were impressed to learn that the Chinese company has created thousands of jobs for local fishermen, brought millions of USD income and transferred technology to Sri Lanka. The farm has also been an important studying and practicing base for government officials, local fishermen and students from the University of Jaffna etc. The company also requested the Ministry of Fisheries and other relevant government authorities to expand the farming to attract more FDI.
Ambassador Qi Zhenhong also led a team of officials and reporters from Sri Lanka and China for a study tour to the New Silk Road Foodstuff factory at Thoddaveli, Mannar on December 17. The factory, with investment by Chinese entrepreneurs employs more than 100 workers from nearby villages, and 85 percent among them are female. It also brings stable income to thousands of fishermen in Sri Lanka and provides around 300,000 cans of fish monthly to the nation. The factory is applying to get its new equipment registered for fish meal production, and willing to increase investment to import more raw materials and equipment if the restriction of US Dollar remittance could be relaxed.

To extend strong solidarity to local communities to fight the current COVID-19 pandemic together, Ambassador Qi Zhenhong has donated piles of food parcels (LKR 5,500 each), fishing gears and facial masks purchased from local supplies with a total value of LKR 20 million to 2,500 families of fishermen in the Northern Province to meet their urgent end of the year (2021) demand. Handing-over ceremonies were organized by local fishermen societies in Jaffna and Mannar on December 16. The timely assistance received warmest applause from Minister Douglas Devananda and local Tamil fishermen presented at the ceremonies. They also expressed their highest appreciation to the Chinese Ambassador for the 1.6 million doses of Sinopharm vaccines specially donated by China to the Northern and Eastern Provinces, and sincerely requested China to extend more support to the socio-economic development in the area.

On December 16, Zhenhong paid homage to the historic Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil at the centre of Jaffna displaying full respect to religious and cultural tradition. The Chinese delegation made a donation to the Kovil and thereafter shared a pooja with the needy following the worship.
During the 3-days visit of friendship and cooperation, Ambassador Qi Zhenhong and his delegation received greatest hospitality and support from the Northern Provincial government, Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Defence and local tourism sector etc. On conclusion of the visit, Ambassador Qi conveyed his sincerest thanks and best wishes to them as well as to the friendship between the two countries on the upcoming 65th Anniversary of China-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations.”

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