Sri Lanka achieved peace due to the great sacrifices made by the war heroes in the armed forces, going to the extent of sacrificing their own lives, a top Minister said on Friday at the opening of a Chinese trade exhibition in Colombo.
Peace, Minister of Industries and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said, is the responsibility of every citizen of this country, whether they be Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim and irrespective of their religion or ethnicity.
He was speaking to the media at the conclusion of the opening Ceremony of the China Guangxi Products Exhibition Sri Lanka on Friday at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC) in Colombo. The exhibition ends tomorrow (Sunday).
“If anybody is trying to create tension or violence to dissuade peace won with tremendous sacrifices using religion and ethnicity, it could be considered to be a crime against the nation,” he said, urging the media to rally round all forces to sustain the peace that was achieved with invaluable sacrifices.
Ma Jixian, Deputy Director General, Department of Commerce, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomus Region, in his opening remarks said that in 2017 bilateral trade volume between China and Sri Lanka reached US$4.4 billion.
In 2017, trade volume between Guangxi and Sri Lanka totalled $45.73 million with a potential to grow. Guangxi Province is of 237,600 sq.km with a population of 56 million; GDP at $301.7 billion while foreign trade was $57.2 billion in 2017. It also enjoys a regional ethnic autonomy policy. He said that the region has the greatest development potential and investment value in China.
He mentioned that around 2,000 years back Behai City, Guangxi opened a route to India and Sri Lanka and the route became an important departure port for the ancient Maritime Silk Road to Southeast and South Asia.
Yang Zuoyuan, Economic and Commercial Counsellor, Embassy of China in Sri Lanka also addressed the opening ceremony. (QP)