China agrees to develop liberated areas of North and East

On a request made by Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithrepala Sirisena, the Chinese government agreed to assist Sri Lanka to develop agriculture in the newly liberated areas of the North and East.

China has also expressed its willingness to provide livelihood opportunities to the conflict affected people sheltered in welfare centres and assist Sri Lanka to overcome the impact of the financial recession, Minister Maithripala Sirisena told The Island on his return to Sri Lanka from China.

He said that at the invitation of the International Department of the Central Committee, he went to China with Minister of Youth Affairs Pavithra Wanniarachchi and had fruitful discussions with Chinese authorities on the future development of Sri Lanka. During his visit to China he held discussions with member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee Wang Gang and Vice Chairman of the National Committee Liu Hongcai.

He said that the discussions were focused on strengthening inter-party interactions and confidence- building measures and current political situation in Sri Lanka. He had commented on the visionary leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa whose dauntless efforts had paid off. The Chinese authorities had in return promised to help Sri Lanka, especially to revive the North and East and rehabilitate and reconstruct in order to achieve sustainable agricultural development.

Minister Sirisena also said that it was found that due to the conflict spanning 30 years the infrastructure of the North and East such as roads, railway network, public buildings and irrigational systems had been devastated..

He said that at a meeting held with Chinese Agriculture Minister he had appreciated China’s assistance for the ongoing projects commissioned by China in developing the agriculture sector of Sri Lanka.

Minister Pavithra Wanniarchchi said that she was able to meet with officials in the All China Youth Federation and discussed a programme for the development of youth in Sri Lanka. She had proposed to conclude an MOU on a comprehensive youth exchange, leadership and skills development programme to be launched between the two countries.

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