Published on: June 11, 2024

Oluvil Port Set for Renovation, Promising National Development – Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda

Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda underscored the commitment of the government to protecting and revitalizing Oluvil Port, citing its significance for the advancement of the country.

He commended the President’s initiatives in resolving past congestion problems and reinstating regularity in civil life, declaring his support for the President’s candidacy in the upcoming presidential election.

Addressing a press briefing titled ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country,’ held today (11) at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda further said that,

Today, stakeholders together with Port Authority, Navy officials, industry experts, local intellectuals, and community representatives convened to deliberate on the restoration and reactivation of Oluvil Port. Our focus is on preserving resources, enhancing port operations, and addressing community needs. The objective is to harness the port’s potential for national development. Urgency is paramount as we strive to expedite progress toward our objectives.

Additionally, President Ranil Wickremesinghe recently visited India to attend the Prime Minister’s swearing-in ceremony, marking a successful tour. The President discussed the visit’s outcomes during a cabinet meeting, highlighting its economic significance for our country. It is anticipated that this visit will create numerous job opportunities for the youth of the country.

Additionally, there’s a concerning issue of Indian fishermen encroaching across our borders and employing illegal fishing gear, adversely impacting the livelihoods of our fishermen. During his recent visit to India, the President addressed this matter with the relevant Indian authorities.

Furthermore, the upcoming visits of the Indian Prime Minister and the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs to Sri Lanka will provide an opportunity to diplomatically address this fishing dispute and seek solutions. Concurrently, efforts are underway to enact new laws aimed at enhancing the fishing industry, safeguarding the interests of fishing communities, and preserving marine resources.

The rise in fuel prices not only impacts fishermen but also consumers. Consequently, we are exploring the feasibility of offering fuel subsidies to fishermen, a matter under discussion with the President. Additionally, we prioritize aquatic industries and water management, particularly freshwater fish.

In accordance with the President’s directive to return lands acquired by the Department of Forest Conservation after 1985 to their rightful owners, an upcoming discussion, chaired by the Secretary to the President, will include the Minister of Forest Resources Conservation, District Secretaries of the five districts in the Northern Province, and relevant government officials.

I have toured all 15 fishing districts of Sri Lanka to address the issues faced by fishermen in these areas. During these visits, residents have emphasized the importance of selecting a capable leader for our country’s future.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has made significant strides in alleviating economic crises, shortages of goods, and the long queues, thereby restoring normalcy to people’s lives. In light of his efforts, we express our readiness to collaborate with him and extend our support for his candidacy in the upcoming presidential election.


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