by Ashanthi Warunasuriya
China wants to fast track the establishment of the proposed industrial zone in Hambantota.
China’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang said Sri Lanka needs industrialization and an industrial zone is the best way forward.
“Sri Lanka has many giant projects, but how about human power? We need professionals. We need engineers, we need managers. So all students who study in China and when they come back they can easily find a job. Why? Becaue there are so many projects in Sri Lanka which are supported by the Chinese government and its people. We lack qualified professionals,” he said.
On the Hambantota Port the Ambassador said that some people say there will be around 500 jobs created but he feels the number should be 50,000.
He also said that China will fully support Sri Lanka in education, science and technology.
“Yes there has been some noise. But this has not changed our friendship,” he said at an event held at the Chinese Embassy recently.
The Ambassador said that economic development is most important but is not enough and so China will continue its efforts to support Sri Lankan students to study in China and train in China.
A ceremony was held at the Chinese Embassy to award Chinese Government Scholarships to Sri Lankan students.
“This is a very proud moment for us and I congratulate all these students. This is a scholarship directly from the Chinese government. Not from any university or private party. Chinese scholarships have a lot of requirements. Not only for Sri Lankan’s but for all other countries, the conditions and the terms are the same,” he said.
He said the students will be able to stand as a symbol of friendship between China and Sri Lanka and also help develop the country.
The Ambassador also said that he faces several criticisms by some people both in Sri Lanka and outside the island yet he will continue to discuss with Beijing and request more assistance for Sri Lanka.