The Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang, has predicted the establishment of a joint Sino-Lanka University to train professionals to work in Chinese establishments and industries expected to come up in Sri Lanka.
Addressing a group of 18 Sri Lankan students who have been given Chinese government scholarships to study in Chinese universities, Ambassador Yi said that Sri Lanka needs industrialization but suitable manpower in lacking.
“ Sri Lanka has many giant projects, but how about human power? We (Sri Lankans) need professionals. We need engineers, we need managers.Why? Because there are so many projects in Sri Lanka which are supported by the Chinese government and its people. We lack qualified professionals.”
“If you talk about the Hambantota Port, some people tell me there will be around 500 jobs created. I said no, 500 is not enough. We need at least 50,000. But they must be qualified. We lack qualified professionals.”
“So China will fully support Sri Lanka in education, science and technology. Not only economically. Economic development is most important but this is not enough. We will continue our efforts to support Sri Lankan students. to study in China and train in China. We will also have some joint universities in future.”
“Every year more than 1300 Sri Lankan’s travel to China to study and undergo training programs. China also conducts special classes to Sri Lanka.”
“Sri Lanka is the number one country as far as financial assistance from China in concerned. In grants China donates at least US$ 100 million. We have so many projects here. Sri Lanka gets the most amount of investments from China. In the education and training sector also China provides the greatest support to Sri Lanka out of all other countries.”
“I get really criticized by some people and some outside the island. But I do believe that I am an Ambassador for Sri Lanka as well. I always speak to Beijing and request more and more for Sri Lanka,” Yi said.
In conclusion the Ambassador said: “Sri Lanka is a great country. You have great history and culture. It is your land. You have 20 million people. 65,000 sq kilometers. If you compare with all other countries, you should be in the top 40 in the world.” (Xinhua)