(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – Three ships of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy) arrived at the port of Colombo on Wednesday (31) in order to assist the ongoing relief operations, following the adverse weather that wreaked havoc in the island nation. The ships which were initially on a goodwill, subsequently focused their intentions on relief efforts to help the general public battered by inclement weather. Incidentally, 5 teams of medical personnel along with 10 small boats aboard these ships, are expected to be deployed in relief operations in close collaboration with the Sri Lanka Navy.
The three PLA Navy ships, “Chang Chun”, “Jing Zhou” and “Chao Hu”, arrived in the country, were welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on their arrival. They are steered by Captain Hu Jie, Captain Wang Hongbing and Captain Zhou Baojun respectively, being the Commanding Officers. “Chang Chun” has got 200 naval personnel onboard including 100 officers. Meanwhile there are 178 naval personnel including 50 officers aboard “Jing Zhou”. Similarly, “Chao Hu” consists of a crew of 133 naval personnel together with 54 officers.
The Commanding Officers of the visiting ships called on Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle at the Western Naval Command Head Quarters and they held cordial discussions on matters of the official visit and most importantly the possible relief missions to be carried out focusing the affected community. The Ambassador of People’s Republic of China in Sri Lanka, HE Yi Xianliang, senior officers from the Naval Headquarters, Defence Attaché of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, Senior Colonel Xu Jianwei and senior officers of the ships were present on the occasion. Mementoes were also exchanged to mark the importance of this meeting. Meanwhile a host of Chinese nationals residing in Sri Lanka was present on the occasion where the ships were warmly received.
Subsequently, the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne made a visit onboard ships this evening. Thereupon, the large consignment of relief materials dispatched by the Chinese Government was officially handed over to the Commander of the Navy. This noble gesture yet again proved the long and strong camaraderie of the two countries and mutual cooperation between the PLA and SL Navies.