China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman – Mr. Zhao Lijian has said that assistance to Sri Lanka is never attached with any political strings.
Responding to media during the regular press conference in Beijing yesterday (28), he said, “I would like to reiterate that China’s assistance to Sri Lanka is never attached with any political strings, and we never seek any selfish political gains in China’s investment and financing in Sri Lanka.”
He also commended the recent remarks made by Sri Lankan Foreign Minister- Ali Sabry.
Shenzhen TV: Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said recently that China respected it when Sri Lanka went to China and sought funds and the Chinese never forced Sri Lanka to take money. He said that China also provided Sri Lanka with some financial facilities and credit lines and also some humanitarian assistance, and that the “debt trap” is a Western phrase. He also said that China has been Sri Lanka’s close friend, and this year the two countries celebrated 70 years of economic ties, beginning with the Rubber-Rice pact. What is China’s comment?
Zhao Lijian: We welcome Foreign Minister Ali Sabry’s remarks. This is a strong rebuttal to the narrative about the so-called Chinese “debt trap” in Sri Lanka. I would like to reiterate that China’s assistance to Sri Lanka is never attached with any political strings, and we never seek any selfish political gains in China’s investment and financing in Sri Lanka. China fully relates to the difficulties and challenges faced by Sri Lanka and supports relevant financial institutions in discussing with Sri Lanka and properly resolving them. We have all along provided support to Sri Lanka’s socioeconomic development as long as our ability permits.
This year marks the 65th anniversary of China-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations, and the 70th anniversary of the Rubber-Rice Pact. It is of great significance of building on past achievements and working for fresh progress. China will work with Sri Lanka to carry forward the traditional friendship, cement strategic mutual trust, deepen and expand practical cooperation, and consolidate and expand China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative partnership to better deliver benefits to the two countries and the two peoples.
New Army Chief of Staff appointed
Major General C.D Weerasuriya RWP RSP ndu, the present Deputy Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army has been appointed as the new Chief of Staff of the Army.
Major General C.D Weerasuriya RWP RSP ndu this afternoon (29) received the letter of appointment as 61st Chief of Staff of the Army from Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, Commander of the Army at the Commander’s office.
He, who has served as the Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force before he took office as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army on 16 June 2022, has also held many key appointments in the Army. He is also the Colonel of the Regiment, Sri Lanka Light Infantry and Mechanized Infantry Regiment.
Major General C.D Weerasuriya RWP RSP ndu was born in 15 July 1968 in Colombo and had his education at Mahanama College, Kollupitiya where he excelled in sports and various scopes. He joined the Army as an Officer Cadet in 27 October 1986 to the Intake 26 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into one of the most respected Infantry Regiments in the Sri Lanka Army, the 1st Battalion of the Sri Lanka Light Infantry on 23 July 1987. He has counted over 36 years of reckonable service in the military career.
Besides the regimental appointments in every sphere, Major General C.D Weerasuriya RWP RSP ndu has held numerous important appointments in Command and Staff capacities. He commanded one of the reputed Infantry Battalions, 4th Battalion of Sri Lanka Light Infantry Regiment during the era of very high intensity counter insurgency operations.
Having completed the tenure as the Battalion Commander, he held Staff appointments in various formations as General Staff Officer 1 (Coordinating) at 23 Division, Colonel General Staff at 58 Division, Chief of Staff at Regimental Headquarters of the Sri Lanka Light Infantry, Centre Commandant of Regimental Headquarters of the Sri Lanka Light Infantry, Brigadier General Staff at the Security Force Headquarters – Kilinochchi and Director at Directorate of Recruiting – Army Headquarters.
Major General C.D Weerasuriya RWP RSP ndu has served in many command appointments including Commander 512, 523 and 663 Infantry Brigades, Commander Air Mobile Brigade and Commander 22 Division in Trincomalee, and Commander Security Force (East), Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force. Prior to taking over duties as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army, he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army.
The senior officer has been decorated with the ‘Rana Wickrama Paddakkama’ and ‘Rana Sura Paddakkama’ in recognition of the gallantry, invaluable and selfless dedication, excelled in the face of enemy in the battlefield.
In addition to the local courses he followed, Major General C.D Weerasuriya RWP RSP ndu has attended Young Officers’ Course in Pakistan, Mortar Course in India, Junior Command Course in Bangladesh, United Nations Staff Officers’ Course in Bangladesh and Senior Command Course in India. He has obtained the Master’s Degree in Public Management at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura and has attended seminars on ‘Conflict Resolution by Military Means’ held in California, USA and ‘Security of the Countries of South Asia and North Eastern Asia’ held in Mongolia. Major General Channa Weerasuriya has obtained the graduation on the National Security and War Course at the National Defence University of Pakistan.
He is married to Mrs. Danusha Weerasuriya and blessed with a daughter.
Many monks entering universities exit as laymen – President
President Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament on Tuesday (29) that a large number of people enter universities as monks, end up as laymen.
The President made these comments during the budget debate in parliament today (29).
“Today, a large number of people enter universities as monks but end up as laymen. Initially, we must decide that if we enter the university as monks, we will be awarded the degree as monks, and it will not be transferable. If they need to de robe they should discuss it with their Mahanayake Theros. The behaviour of the monks in universities should also be linked to these discourses. If the existing method continues, our order will be lost,” he said.
No COVID-19 deaths yesterday
No COVID-19 deaths have been confirmed yesterday (28) by the Director-General of Health Services.
Accordingly, the current COVID-19 death toll remains at 16,802.