People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is prepared to provide Sri Lanka with any assistance whatsoever in case of any emergency, catastrophe or otherwise, said General Lisng Guanglie, Minister of National Defence, PRC during a meeting at the PLA General Headquarters on Thursday with Sri Lanka’s Army Chief currently in Beijing.
This is the first time in the Sri Lankan military history that an incumbent Commander of the Army had the rare distinction of having a separate meeting with a high profile portfolio of a PRC Minister of National Defence in the PRC.
Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya who arrived in Beijing on Wednesday at the invitation of the PLA of People’s Republic of China set about continuing his formal itinerary on Thursday after paying a courtesy call on Deputy Chief of General Staff, PLA General Ma Xiaotian and Minister of National Defence, PRC Gen. Lisng Guanglie at the PLA General Headquarters.
General Guanglie during the cordial meeting with Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya elaborated the roles and tasks, assigned to him in the PLA and in the sphere of Chinese defence and its related strategic planning in his capacity as Minister of National Defence. Deputy Chief of General Staff, PLA General Ma Xiaotian and several senior PLA senior officers were present at the meeting with the PRC’s Minister of National Defence.
General Guanglie during exchange of views assured Sri Lanka and her Armed Forces of any assistance whatsoever in case of any emergency, catastrophe or otherwise.
He also recalled historic and close ties between both nations and instances where China closely co-operated with the Sri Lankan leaders and vice versa.
General Guanglie, who is also a member of the powerful Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) under which the PLA (Chinese Armed Forces) formally operates is one of the most respected military leaders still serving in China.
The PLA attaches symbolic significance and exceptional prominence to Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya’s six-day stay in the People’s Republic of China since the Sri Lankan Army Chief himself, was one among the best products the PRC’s premier seat of learning, the PLA’s National Defence University (NDU) has ever produced and this has led to the prevailing excellent military cooperation and best relations between both organizations.
Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya was accorded a Guard of Honour. The Sri Lankan delegation, headed by Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya comprises Brig. K Gunawardena, General Officer Commanding, 11 Division, Brig. P.W.B P Jayasundera, Commandant, Sri Lanka Military Academy, two more officers and Army Seva Vanitha Unit President Manjulika Jayasuriya.
Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya’s who was received by several senior PLA officers at the Beijing airport had discussions with General Ma Xiaotian of the PLA which centred on military matters of mutual and bilateral interest. The meeting also explored opportunities that could be made available to PLA trainees in Sri Lanka’s various post-war training exercises and modules. Similarly, possibilities for further expansion of other academic and professional programmes between both military organizations were also taken up for discussion.
General Xiaotian assured Sri Lanka of all the support by way of provision of military training to Sri Lankan Armed Forces.
Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya spoke in glowing terms of the unfailing support and excellent understanding prevailing between both countries and respective military establishments. He recalled with gratitude the PLA’s timely contribution to Sri Lanka’s efforts in wiping out terrorism.
He also thanked the PLA for its uninterrupted accommodation of Sri Lankan officers for defence studies and training courses in China’s prestigious defence academies.