Sri Lanka Hopes For Tourism Boost As Luxury Cruise Ship Arrives With 2,000 Travellers

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COLOMBO, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) — A super luxury cruise ship arrived at Colombo Port on Tuesday carrying over 2,000 passengers, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said.

The “Mein Schiff 5” owned by a German operator docked at the Sri Lankan capital in the small hours of Tuesday with ceremonies and cultural shows planned throughout the day.

Officials from the SLPA said the ship received a ceremonious welcome at the Colombo Port and the passengers would be offered excursions for the majority of the locations and tours covering Colombo, the south and the central highlands.

The Tourism Ministry said the arrival of the cruise liner gave a boost to the South Asian country’s tourism.

Nine international passenger cruises were expected to arrive in Sri Lanka by March next year, which would revive the country’s pandemic-battered tourism and attract much-needed foreign exchange, a minister said last week.■

China Welcomes Sri Lankan FM’s Rebuttal Of So-Called “Chinese Debt Trap”: Spokesperson

BEIJING, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) — China welcomes Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Sabry’s rebuttal of the narrative of the so-called Chinese “debt trap” in Sri Lanka, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said here on Monday.

Sabry has said that when Sri Lanka went to China in search of funds, China was respectful and never forced Sri Lanka to take money. China also provided Sri Lanka with some financial facilities and credit line, as well as some humanitarian assistance, Sabry said, adding that the “debt trap” is a Western phrase.

Zhao said this is a strong rebuttal to the narrative about so-called Chinese “debt trap” in Sri Lanka.

The spokesperson reiterated that China’s assistance to Sri Lanka never comes with any political strings attached, and China never seeks any selfish political gains from its investment and financing in Sri Lanka.

“China fully relates to the difficulties and challenges faced by Sri Lanka and supports relevant financial institutions in discussing with Sri Lanka and properly resolving them. We have all along provided support to Sri Lanka’s socioeconomic development as long as our ability permits,” he said.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of China-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations, and the 70th anniversary of the Rubber-Rice Pact, Zhao said, noting that it is of great significance in building on past achievements and working for fresh progress.

China will work with Sri Lanka to carry forward the traditional friendship, cement strategic mutual trust, deepen and expand practical cooperation, and consolidate and expand the China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative partnership to better deliver benefits to the two countries and the two peoples, he stressed.  ■

(Apart from the headline, no editing has been done in the report by ABP Live.)

 



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