First batch to leave for China next week

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The first batch of police and military personnel will head for China next week for a training programme envisaged in the defence cooperation agreement inked between Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, a spokesman said yesterday.

The batch is expected to receive training on a range of aspects including the provision of security to project sites.

The two Presidents signed the agreement on May 14 in Beijing in the wake of serial bombings in Sri Lanka that claimed the lives of more than 250 persons.

A spokesman for the Chinese embassy told Daily Mirror yesterday that China would provide assistance for capacity-building of the security forces and the police, and supply equipment to ensure national security. He said the first batch of police and security forces personnel would undertake a training programme next week.

“We will not send our military personnel here. Instead, we do capacity-building for the Sri Lankan security forces. We rely on them for our security. There is no need for us to send our military personnel here. It is not our policy,” he said, adding that there were more training opportunities available.

China is the single largest foreign investor in Sri Lanka. It has invested USD 1.4 billion in the Colombo Port City project and pledged assistance for internet surveillance, particularly during crises.