Sri Lanka thanked China for the help

COLOMBO (PTI): On Wednesday Sri Lankan army chief profusely thanked China for its liberal military assistance during the war with LTTE, saying that Colombo viewed Beijing as its “true friend” with a deep sense of pride.

Welcoming a high-level military delegation led by Gen Ma Xiaotian, Deputy Chief of People’s Liberation Army, Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya lauded Beijing for its support being extended uninterruptedly to his forces by way of accommodating his officers in military training institutes in China.

Discussion on wide range of matters did the two military commanders, interest including core Chinese training modules that could be shared with the Sri Lanka Army.

Gen Ma was keen to receive details on the conduct of the Sri Lanka Army’s successful military campaign against the LTTE, the army said on its website in a statement.

Lt Gen Jayasuriya “also did not mince words to recall with gratitude the quantum of military assistance, provided to the country by the PLA as terrorism was at its peak, undermining Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity,” it said.

The statement said, he told Chinese officials, “How the nation, as the war was on, looked at the true friends of Sri Lanka with a deep sense of pride and appreciation.”

China was a key supplier of arms and aircraft during Sri Lanka’s conflict with the LTTE rebels.

During his four-day visit, Gen Ma is expected to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Navy, and Commander of the Air Force. He will also visit several places of tourist interest in the country.

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