Sri Lanka China Friendship Association (SLCFA) celebrated, the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and People’s Republic of China and 60th anniversary of Sri Lanka – China bilateral trade agreement (Rubber-Rice Pact ),at 4.15pm on 10th July 2012 at the Srimavo Banadaranayake Hall-BMICH, Colombo 07.
Hon. D.M.Jayaratne, the Prime Minister attended this event as the Chief Guest and The Foreign Minister Hon. Dr.G.L.Peiris shall delivered key note address at the above event. The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Sri Lanka HE Wu Jianhao and Hon.Ranil Wickremasinghe, Leader of the Opposition will addressed the gathering and Hon.Nimal Siripala de Silva and Hon Chandima Weerakody distributed the prices to the winners of the Essay Competition.
Winners of the all Island essay competition for two age groups in languages, Sinhala, Tamil and English under following topics to celebrate 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and People’s Republic of China and 60th anniversary of Sri Lanka – China Rubber-Rice Pact will receiveed their prices.
a. Under 12 age group – ‘China’s lovable Panda’.
b. Under 19 age group – ‘ 55 years of diplomatic relationship between Sri Lanka and China.’
Rubber Rice – Pact – In 1952 then Ceylon faced severe food crisis specialy with regard to Rice 1952 was a very bad year for Sri Lanka. Premier D. S. Senanayake had died and Dudley Senanayake had just formed a new government when the country had to face a world shortage of rice. The government was committed at that time to provide every adult person with two measures of rice per week at a subsidized price, but rice was not available from the traditional suppliers – Burma, Thailand and Indo-China – and the world market price of rice had risen by 38 percent between 1951 and 1952.. She was however not in a position to buy all the rice she needed at this high price as her foreign exchange resources were limited; besides, distribution of this rice would have pushed the food subsidy bill to intolerable levels.
The country was also facing a foreign exchange crisis in 1952 caused by a dramatic fall in her export prices brought about by the quick end of the Korean War boom. The end of the Korean War and the drastic reduction of commodity purchases by the West – in particular, of natural rubber by the United States – led to a collapse of Sri Lanka’s exports.
It was in this grim setting that R. G. Senanayake, the then Minister of Commerce, played his stroke. He found out that China was prepared to sell rice to Sri Lanka in exchange for rubber. At that time China was unable to obtain rubber as a result of prohibition of rubber exports from Malaya following a U.N. resolution preventing the sale of rubber to China. Thus China wanted rubber as badly as Sri Lanka wanted rice. R. G. Senanayake was quick to realize the mutual benefits of trade with China, and negotiated the Ceylon-China Trade Agreement or the Rubber-Rice Pact in Beijing towards the end of 1952.
Key feature of this event was to honour the Trio who played pivotal role to develop Sri Lanka China Friendship Association. Late Madam Theja Gunawardena the Founder, Late Mr Ananda Kumara former General Secretary and Late Mr.Sudharman de Silva Dharmawardena Former Treasurer .
Sri Lanka China Friendship Association founded in 1952 played a pivotal role in establishing People to people friendship between Sri Lanka and China which paved way establishment of Diplomatic relations between our two Nations.