Sri Lanka is known as the “GemKingdom” and the “Pearl on the Indian Ocean”. It was called the most beautiful islandby Marco Polo. Sri Lanka was a member of the British Commonwealth. The friendly exchanges between China and Sri Lanka have a long history. For more than 2,000 years, the friendship between the two peoples has never stopped. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka. On the afternoon of August 2, “Witness Friendship” 2017 Summer Home & Abroad News Press Junior Journalist Delegation visited the Sri Lankan embassy and has exclusive interview with the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China, H.E. Mr. Karunasena Kodituwakku.
Ambassador Kodituwakkuhas served as various positions in the Minister of Education and Human Resources Development of Sri Lanka as well as the Sri Lankan ambassadorto South Korea, North Korea, Mongolia and other 5 countries. He has rich diplomatic experience. It was a true honor for our junior journalists to have such interview opportunity with the ambassador.
“Hello, Mr. Ambassador. Thank you very much for giving us this opportunity to have this exclusive interview with you. China and Sri Lanka had frequent and close connections in political, cultural and economic fields since the ancient times. Particularly, cultural exchanges between the two countries play an important role in the bilateral relations. In your opinions, as teenagers in the two countries, how will we continue developing the traditional friendship between China and Sri Lanka?”
Ambassador Kodituwakkusaid that Sri Lanka is willing to strengthen exchanges on culture, education, science and technology with China. We will encourage more Sri Lankan teenagers to come to China for higher education. Chinese young people may also choose to study in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is willing to discuss with China to establish a joint R&D and education base to cooperate in joint schooling and joint research. This will provide strong foundation to promote and develop friendship between young people of both countries.
“Confucius Institute has become an important bridge for people to learn Chinese language, understand Chinese culture, promote and enhance civil friendship. May I ask Ambassador: how many Confucius Institutes are currently in Sri Lanka? What role does Confucius Institute play in Sri Lanka?”
Ambassador Kodituwakkusaid that the Confucius Institute at Keilahya Universitywas established in 2007 as the first Confucius Institute in Sri Lanka. The Confucius Institute at Colombo University was officially opened on December 30, 2016, that is the second Confucius Institute in Sri Lanka. Confucius Institute is a bridge forexchanging the Chinese and Sri Lankan civilizations, and it also plays an important role to deepen China and Sri Lanka’s friendship and promote the friendly relations between China and Sri Lanka.
“我们从网上看到，斯里兰卡在自然风景、 生物种类方面居世界前列, 这里有联合国教科文组织认定的 8 个世界遗产地, 被认作是具有丰富文化遗产的国度。请大使先生谈谈斯里兰卡的文化和旅游?谢谢！”
“We learnt from the Internet, Sri Lanka ranks the first place in the world for its natural scenery and biological species. There are eight World Heritage sites recognized by the UNESCO, and it is considered as a country with rich cultural heritage. Could you please briefly introduce about Sri Lanka's culture and tourism to us?”
The ambassador said that this is a good question, and then he detailly introduced the eight World Heritage sites in Sri Lanka, including seven cultural heritage and onenatural heritage. The sceneries and mysterious culture of this country cannot be expressed in words, we may have to physically go there to experience ourselves so that we can have the full understanding about its precious and unique culture heritages.
A junior journalist asked about Sri Lanka is the country with the most holidays in the world and when is the best time to visit Sri Lanka. Ambassador Kodituwakkutold us that many holidays are due to the religious beliefs of different ethnic groups. The country has a large population, and the government highly respects every holiday from thedifferent ethnic groups and beliefs. He is proud to tell us that the four seasons in Sri Lanka are always like the spring, we can go there and visit any time.
After completing the interview questions, the junior journalists presented their gifts to the ambassador. One of the paintings was created by Vitoria Wang and her brother Wang Zhengbang. This painting shows a Chinese girl and a Sri Lankan girl sit back to back and looked up to the blue sky, naming “Dreams” - Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and Sri Lanka!
When explaining the meaning of this painting to the ambassador, Victoria expressed her wishes to make more Chineseand Sri Lankan children hand-in-hand, we can contribute our wisdom to carry on China and Sri Lanka’s friendship with our dreams.When the ambassador took over the painting, he thanked Vitoria and Wang Zhengbang. He also appreciated the precious friendship between China and Sri Lanka. In return, the ambassador provided delicious Sri Lankan snacks and drinks to all junior journalists. When taking the group photos, everyone cheered up for the everlasting friendship between China and Sri Lanka.