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Monday, November 25, 2013 - 04.58 GMT
Unveiling Ho Chi Minh statue in Sri Lanka, historic and timely - President Rajapaksa

 

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Ho Chi Minh was a great valiant leader who spearheaded a major liberation battle against powerful imperial forces in the Indo-China region. “As a result of the introduction of Buddhism to Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Vietnam established close relationship since ancient times as two nations sharing common values and principles. Both our countries comprise peoples with a strong desire to live in freedom,” he said.

Unveiling Ho Chi Minh statue at the Public Library in Colombo, he said, “We believe that unveiling of a statue of Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh in our country is very timely and historically important as I believe he was a great leader who spearheaded a major liberation battle against powerful imperial forces in the Indo-China region.”

“Vietnam and Sri Lanka always refused to live under foreign domination and were not prepared to surrender to invading forces. The people of Vietnam and Sri Lanka fought against the invaders. The 1918 Kandyan rebellion and later the Matale rebellion are historical proofs that we were not prepared to live under foreign rule,” the President said .

Full text of the speech of President Mahinda Rajapaksa:

We believe that unveiling of a statue of Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh in our country is very timely and historically important as I believe he was a great leader who spearheaded a major liberation battle against powerful imperial forces in the Indo-China region.

As a result of the introduction of Buddhism to Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Vietnam established close relationship since ancient times as two nations sharing common values and principles. Both our countries comprise peoples with a strong desire to live in freedom.

We always refused to live under foreign domination and were not prepared to surrender to invading forces. The people of Vietnam and Sri Lanka fought against the invaders. The 1918 Kandyan rebellion and later the Matale rebellion are historical proofs that we were not prepared to live under foreign rule.

Whenever an Asian country launches an independence movement to free themselves from the colonial yoke, Sri Lanka extended support to those struggles. We always stood with the people who fought against imperial forces anywhere in the world.

When the valiant fighter Ho Chi Minh fought for Vietnamese independence, Sri Lanka stood with Vietnam, though many powerful nations were on the other side. Ho Chi Minh visited Sri Lanka on three occasions. Communist leader Dr S A Wickremasinghe told me that he met Ho Chi Minh in Paris when participating in a labour conference.

In the 1970 general elections, in which I was a candidate for the first time, Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s election manifesto stated the party’s support for the Vietnamese freedom struggle. In my first speech in Parliament I have extended my best wishes to the fight for unification of Vietnam.

In 1970, Mrs Bandaranaike recognized the freedom struggle of South Vietnam. Sri Lanka was among the first countries to establish international relations with Vietnam. As Sri Lanka always approved and supported the Vietnamese freedom struggle, I believe it is most appropriate for us to erect a statue of Ho Chi Minh in our country.

In 2005, we have introduced our policy statement, Mahinda Chinthanaya drawing the essence of the freedom struggles of our people. I see all the endeavours from the defeat of separatism to make the nation self-sufficient by raising the standards of farmers and preventing the sale of public properties to foreigners. These are essential steps to safeguard the independence of the nation.

We value this privilege of unveiling the statue of the great Vietnamese leader and offer the best wishes of the people of Sri Lanka to the Vietnamese people.


 

 
 
   
   
     
   
   

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Last modified: November 25, 2013.

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