His Excellency Yi Xianliang
Ambassador People’s Republic of China to Sri Lanka

It is my great pleasure to issue this message on the occasion of the Opening of the Confucius Institute in the University of Colombo.Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban is a public institution affiliated with the Ministry of Education of China. Its mission is to provide Chinese language and cultural teaching resources as well as services worldwide. It goes all out in meeting the demands of foreign Chinese learners and contributing to the development of multi-culturalism and the building of a harmonious world. From 2004, Hanban started to collaborate with foreign universities to establish Confucius Institute and Confucius Classroom abroad. By the end of 2015, the total number of Confucius Institute reaches 500 and Confucius Classroom 1000, covering 134 countries with1,900,000registered members.

Currently, there are already one Confucius Institute at the University of Kelaniya and one China Radio International Confucius Classroom in Sri Lanka, both of which have done a great deal in providing chances for the local people who are interested in learning Chinese language and experiencing Chinese culture. Next year marks the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Diplomatic Relations between our two countries and the 65th Anniversary of the Signing of the Rice & Rubber Pact. Against this background, the inauguration of the Confucius Institute at the University of Colombo is of great significance. I firmly believe that the Opening of the Confucius Institute of the University of Colombo will no doubt further promote the communication and understanding between our two peoples. I wish the Institute goes smoothly and great success!

Senior Prof. Lakshman Dissanayake
Vice-Chancellor University of Colombo

I consider it my pleasure and privilege to send this message of good wishes and congratulations to the newly established Confucius Institute in the University of Colombo.

I am well aware of the interest shown and the efforts taken by all stakeholders, specially the Dean, Faculty of Arts, to overcome many miner obstacles that stood in the way. Finally all efforts have brought about the expected results. I am pleased about it.

There is no need to underscore the fact that in the present global context it is of paramount impotence to develop good relation with the outside world. The Confucius Institute will certainly help Sri Lanka in further strengthening the existing cordial relations with China, which will bring about mutual benefits to both countries in a wide range of field such as education, cultural, commerce and so on.

I sincerely wish success to the Confucius Institute in all its endeavors !

Prof. Ma Jianfei
Deputy Director Confucius Headquarters (Han Ban)

On the occasion of the establishment of Confucius Institute in the University of Colombo Sri Lanka, I would like to extend the warmest congratulations on behalf of the Office of Chinese Language Council International and Confucius Institute Headquarters! At the same time, I would like to express my sincerest thanks to people from all walks of life for their contributions to the establishment of the Confucius Institute!

For a long time, Sri Lanka has established a strategic partnership with China featured by sincere mutual assistance and generation to generation friendship. In recent years, as “the Belt and Road” strategic concept has been put forward, Sri Lanka and China cooperate with each other to build “21st-Century Maritime Silk Road”, further reinforcing communication and cooperation between the two countries in all domains including politics, economics, education, culture and folk events. Next year will be the sixtieth anniversary for Sri Lanka and China to establish diplomatic relations. The establishment of Confucius Institute at the University of Colombo is not only the optimum present for this significant historical moment, but also the testimony of history for the continuous deepening development of the relations between the two countries.

The University of Colombo is the most ancient university in Sri Lanka. Beijing Foreign Studies University is the state key construction university. Honghe University is an important border university serving China’s construction strategy of “Gateway University”. I hope under the joint effort and cooperative construction of the three universities, Confucius Institute in University of Colombo will actively carry out Chinese teaching, cultural exchange, faculty training and scientific research cooperation based on the university and local communities, strive to demonstrate level and characteristic, further satisfy the requirement of Sri Lanka People for studying Chinese and learning about Chinese culture, and become the new bridge of Sri Lanka and Chinese people, new window of cultural transmission, new platform of cultural and educational exchanges, making positive contributions to promoting mutual understanding and friendship between people of the two countries.

Finally, I sincerely wish the career of Confucius Institute at the University of Colombo will flourish and achieve numerous results!

Prof. Gan Xuechun
President Honghe University

Confucius Institute at the University of Colombo of Sri Lanka is officially established today. On behalf of Honghe University, one of the undertaker universities in China, and in my own name, I would like to extend my sincere and warm congratulations on the official establishment of the Confucius Institute.

Cultural exchange between China and Sri Lanka has a long standing and well-established history. In the early 5th century, a Chinese Buddhist of Jin dynasty named Faxian travelled across the ocean to seek Buddha dharma. He stayed in Sri Lanka for two years and made a great contribution to the cultural exchange between China and Sri Lanka. Even today, under the historical background of globalization, Confucius Institute has played a significant role of bridge in quickening the paces of cultural exchange between the two countries day by day. As a new-style university rising from southwestern China, Honghe University adheres to the school motto of “broadness and profoundness, braveness and perseverance”. Under the guide of internationalized school-running policies, the university is determined to try its utmost to devote to the magnificent cause of Sino-foreign cultural exchanges. This time, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Honghe University and the University of Colombo cooperate with each other to establish this Confucius Institute. It is of milestone significance and will certainly play the fortissimo of cultural exchange between China and Sri Lanka. “Penglai fairyland is not far, you diligent bird messenger, so please explore the fairyland for me”. Though it is covered with mist and waves far away in the past, it is now right before our eyes. Taking advantage of the cooperation among Beijing Foreign Studies University, Honghe University and the University of Colombo in co-establishing the Confucius Institute, the development of the three universities will certainly have a bright future. The friendship between China and Sri Lanka will be pushed to a new level.

Congratulations to the establishment of Confucius University in University of Colombo once again!
Congratulations on the new voyage of cultural exchange between China and Sri Lanka!

Prof. Peng Long
President Beijing Foreign Studies University

I am delighted to learn that your university is going to hold the Confucius Institute opening ceremony in December 2016. On behalf of Beijing Foreign Studies University, I hereby extend my warm congratulations and sincere wishes!

Sri Lanka and China enjoy a long history of connection and friendship. Since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1957, we have witnessed continuous high-level exchanges and the deepening of bilateral relations in such fields as economy, trade, culture and education. In 2007, the first Confucius Institute in Sri Lanka was established at the University of Kelaniya. In 2014, the University of Colombo and the Chinese Hanban signed an agreement on cooperation in the establishment of a Confucius Institute at the University of Colombo.

In recent years, Confucius Institutes have undergone rapid development, becoming an important institution for people around the world to learn Chinese and understand Chinese culture. Confucius Institutes have been popular worldwide and made contributions to promoting the understanding of the Chinese language and culture and facilitating the development of multiculturalism across the globe.

BFSU boasts the longest history among universities of its kind in China, offering a complete range of degrees, diplomas and programs at various levels, with the largest number of foreign language programs in the country. At present, BFSU has 72 foreign language programs. Among them, Sinhala program has, since its establishment in 1961, trained a large number of outstanding talents. Committed to “introducing China to the world “, our university has organized the establishment of 22 Confucius Institutes overseas.

The Confucius Institute at Colombo University will be jointly established by the University of Colombo, BFSU and Honghe University. It will carry out Chinese language teaching, teacher training and Chinese examinations provide information on Chinese education, culture and economy and conduct studies on contemporary China. As one of the organizers, BFSU will spare no effort to participate and support the development of Confucius Institute at Colombo University.

Finally, I sincerely wish the Confucius Institute opening ceremony at the Colombo University a great success! And I wish you every success in your future work!

Prof. Athula Ranasinghe
Dean Faculty of Arts

As a person involved from the very beginning with the project of establishing the Confucius Institute of the University of Colombo, I am much pleased to send this message of congratulation.

There happened to be a considerable delay in finalizing the proposal and this was due to unexpected and unavoidable circumstances. However, with the uninstinted cooperation and blessings of the Vice Chancellor we have been successful in making this proposal a reality.

I, personally, am much happy to day because I feel that this Institute will bring benefits to both Sri Lanka and China in numerous ways, not only in bringing the two countries still closer, but also in stabilizing, strengthening and expanding the operating areas involving language and cultural studies and also opening up new avenues to other fields.
I wish Confucius Institute all success!

Ven. Prof. M. Dhammajothi Thero
Founding Director (Sri Lanka)

It is with much pleasure and satisfaction that I announce that the University of Colombo and the Confucius Headquarters have finally been successful in establishing a Confucius Institute at the Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo on the 30th of December 2016. This was after a time- consuming, painstaking effort to overcome numerous obstacles that a stood in its way. I consider this a significant achievement that would enhance the fame of the University of Colombo, as this Institute is academically affiliated to well establish two universities in China, namely, Beijing Foreign Studies University and Honghe University in Yunnan.

The main objective of this Institute is to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and proficiency in Chinese language and culture. Besides, this Institute will provide also opportunities to scholars who desire to engage in researches in numerous other related areas of study connected to these two countries. Though Confucius himself was humble enough to declare that he is not an innovator, but only a transmitter of the age old Chinese tradition and morals, the grateful Chinese people hold him in very high esteem as a great saint-like teacher who served as the resourceful fountain and spring of the whole Chinese culture: its language, philosophy, morals, education, politics and so on. In fact, the Chinese people very reverentially consider him as the epitome of the whole of Chinese practical cultural life.

China has always been a sincere ally of Sri Lanka, ready to help her at times of need, covering numerous spheres. In the academic field China has been providing scholarship to Sri Lankan students from as far back as 1974, increasing the intake annually, and expanding also the scope of recruitment to include government officers, journalists, entrepreneurs, artists, teachers and many others. Encouragement of language studies and other related aspects have been carried out to help both Sri Lanka and China, enhancing and strengthening mutual trust and relations between the two countries.

On this occasion, I wish to thank all those who, in one way or the other, helped to establish the Confucius Institute at the Colombo University.

Prof. Zhang Xi (Philip)
Founding Director (China)

Through the efforts of both Sri Lankan and Chinese sides, the Confucius Institute at the University of Colombo finally has its official inauguration today. Firstly of all, I would like to take this minute to express my gratitude to all the guests, teachers and schoolmates for your merrily attendance to join with us in witnessing this great historic moment.

Confucius Institute is named after the great ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius of over 2500 years ago. Confucius himself had been endeavoring through his whole life in constructing a world of universal harmony and “attempting the impossible”. He claimed the ideology that “harmony is most precious” and “within the four seas all men are brothers”. He was always sincerely delighted with the coming of like-minded people from different places for completing the common cause. He said cheerfully in the opening chapter of The Analects of Confucius, “It is always such a pleasure to have a friend coming from afar!” Today, I am also making my speech here with the same cheerful mood to express my heartfelt joy, delight, appreciation and greeting to everyone!

Sri Lanka is a jewelry kingdom setting on the west coast of Indian Ocean, and it is a beautiful country with brilliant sunshine. Sri Lanka and China have over 1,600 years’ cultural communication and traditional friendship. If we trace back to the history, that early in 410AD of China’s Jin Dynasty, the eminent monk, Faxian, once had a two-year Buddhistic pilgrimage in Sri Lanka, he fetched the Buddhist Classic Works and authored the book- A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms after his study tour in Sri Lanka. After the founding of new China, the establishment of the diplomatic relation between China and Sri Lanka and the signing of the Rice-Rubber Agreement laid a favorable foundation for the friendly relationship between our two countries. And nowadays, Sri Lanka is regarded as an essential linking and supporting point with particular importance for the cultural, economic and trade exchanges between China and other Asian and European countries.

I sincerely hope and firmly believe that:

The Confucius Institute at the University of Colombo will become a platform for the language and culture exchanges between China and Sri Lanka.
It will become a bridge of harmonious coexistence linking China and Sri Lanka.
It will become a palace for the permanent friendship between Chinese people and Sri Lanka people.
It will also make its due contribution for the universal harmony of the world.
As the first Chinese director of the institute, I will make my unremitting endeavors and efforts for all these faiths.