Colombo: Sri Lankan Army chief on Tuesday
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.
The two military commanders discussed a wide range of
matters of 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.
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", the statement said.
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,
Commander of the Air Force. He will also visit several places
of tourist interest in the country.