Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka visits Adam’s Bridge

    Colombo, Dec 17 (PTI) The Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Qi Zhenhong, paid a rare visit to the Adam’s Bridge on Friday amid heavy security, as he concluded a high-profile two-day goodwill tour to the country’s Tamil-majority Northern Province.
     The Ambassador was escorted to the Adam’s Bridge by members of the Sri Lankan Navy and the Sri Lankan Army.
     Adam’s Bridge, also known as Rama’s Bridge or Rama Sethu, is a chain of shoals situated between the islands of Mannar, near northwestern Sri Lanka and Rameswaram, off the southern coast in India.
     The bridge is 48 km long and separates the Gulf of Mannar from the Palk Strait.
     The Ambassador visited the third shoal on the Adam’s Bridge, which is located around 17 miles from the Lankan coast.
     This was the first visit to the northern Jaffna peninsula by a Chinese Ambassador in recent times.
     On Thursday, the Ambassador visited the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple in Jaffna, clad in a dhoti.
     “With full respect to the Hindu religious and cultural tradition. Also made donations to the Kovil (temple) and shared his offerings to the needy citizens outside after his visit,” the Chinese embassy tweeted.
     Qi also visited the Jaffna Public Library, which was burnt down by anti-Tamil elements in 1981, and restored with India’s help after the civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
     The Ambassador also met Northern Province Governor Jeevan Thiagarajah and held discussions “on how to enhance mutual cooperation and improve local Tamil community livelihoods,” the Chinese embassy said.
     Qi’s visit comes days after the Sri Lankan government cancelled a deal with a Chinese firm to the tune of USD 12 million to develop hybrid power plants in the Northern Province.
     However, Beijing-based Global Times cited ‘security concerns from a third party’ as the alleged reason for the cancellation of the contract.
     China has been involved in a slew of infrastructural projects in Sri Lanka since 2010, but all of them are restricted in the southern region of the island nation. PTI Corr VM AKJ VM

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)