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Rousing send-off for outgoing ambassador

Mohalenyane Phakela

DEPARTING Chinese Ambassador to Lesotho, Sun Xianghua, says he will look back with pride on his two-year tenure during which his government completed several infrastructure projects which have benefitted Lesotho.

Dr Sun, who served from May 2016, is scheduled to leave for Beijing, China today after his term recently came to an end.

Ahead of his departure, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently held a farewell ceremony for him at a local hotel in Maseru which was attended by several cabinet ministers and government officials.

Present at the ceremony were ministers, Lebohang Hlaele (Law and Constitutional Affairs), Moeketsi Majoro (Finance) Tsukutlane Au (Home Affairs), Joang Molapo (Public Service), Mahala Molapo (Agriculture and Food Security), Temeki Tšolo (Prime Minister’s Office), Prince Maliehe (Public Works and Transport), ‘Mampho Mokhele (Police), Chalane Phori (Small Businesses, Cooperatives and Marketing) and Keketso Sello (Mining).

Speaking the event, Dr Sun said that his tenure coincided with the implementation of various development projects in Lesotho including the construction of the State House, the China-Lesotho Friendship School and the ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre. He said more projects were also planned during his time and these include the Maseru District Hospital and Eye Clinic, the Mafeteng Solar Power Project, the Hlotse Dam, the Maseru Fire Station and Ha Mpiti to Sehlabathebe Road.

“It would be dishonest of me if I did not say I was lucky to have worked in Lesotho and it is with quite a lingering heart that I leave my tour of duty to start a new journey,” Dr Sun said.

“A time of departure is a time of reflection of the 28 months in which I worked with so many Basotho sisters and brothers. As I took trips to every corner of the country, I was humbled by their heart softening smiles and encouraging words which will forever be embedded in my heart.

“I am also honoured to have been part of either the signing or handover of some of the major development project in Lesotho by the Chinese government.”

Dr Sun further commended the friendship between Lesotho and China which he said had grown from strength to strength.

“Though separated by seas and mountains, China and Lesotho share similar views on development and prosperity. The relations which date back over two decades are built on the pillars of mutual trust, respect, equality and sincerity.

“The two governments have worked tirelessly to implement the 2015 FOCAC (Forum for China Africa Cooperation) goals which were focused on the sectors of infrastructure, health, agriculture and human resource training.

“During the recent FOCAC summit in Beijing, the leaders of China and Africa have mapped out a comprehensive action plan to develop the economies of both China and Africa.

“Though I will no longer be directly working on the China-Lesotho relations, I will remain a strong supporter of the bond the two countries share. It is my strong belief that in the coming years the relations will yield new developments which will benefit the two nations. I thank the government of Lesotho and the nation for the warm hospitality.”

The outgoing ambassador was presented with a Se-a-na-marena blanket as well as a Mokorotlo hat as a token of Sesotho culture.

For his part, Mr Hlaele, who represented the Foreign Affairs minister, Lesego Makgothi, said through Dr Sun, the Chinese government had demonstrated its commitment and support for Lesotho’s development efforts.

“Since your (Dr Sun’s) arrival in Lesotho in May 2016, you have displayed an exemplary character as the ambassador and touched the hearts of Basotho. Your presence among us has been fruitful and memorable.

“During your tour of duty, we worked very closely in different areas and through your efforts, managed to sign and implement a number of important projects in Lesotho. This cooperation, which is based on the principle of win-win cooperation, mutual benefits, determination to attain a shared future and non-interference in the internal affairs of each other has yielded the much-needed results for our people.

“All your efforts will always resonate with us for they have left an indelible mark in our hearts and minds. As you take leave of us, be assured that you will always be remembered in Lesotho.

“You have delivered charge as the ambassador with great diligence, commitment and professionalism. We wish you well in your future endeavours,” Mr Hlaele said.



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