Following China’s pledge to donate 10,000 MT of rice to Sri Lanka, the first consignment of 5,000 MT of rice arrived in the country yesterday (29) and was officially handed over to the Government of Sri Lanka by the Chinese Embassy.
On the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the China-Sri Lanka Rubber-Rice Agreement, on 8 January this year, in the discussion of the Chinese Government and the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka with Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardena it was stated that the Government will make arrangements to obtain 10,000 MT of rice from China.
Speaking at the occasion, Gunawardena appreciated the support extended by the Chinese Government to Sri Lanka in the face of the economic crisis. The Minister also said the understanding between the two countries would be further enhanced by the past cooperation and sincere friendship.
The Minister stressed that this stock of rice will be used for the school catering programme and the need for education as well as the need for nutrition will be met by sending children to schools.
Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong said China would extend its fullest support to Sri Lanka in this crisis. In the proposal made by the Minister, further support will be provided for the nutritional needs of schoolchildren, he said.
He said the Chinese Government was honoured to be a part of such a donation at an urgent time and in addition to the stock of rice being handed over yesterday (29), the remaining 5,000 MT of rice would be imported soon. (KK)