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Douglas’ solution for to solve Indian fishermen fishing in SL waters

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In a significant stride toward advancing the fisheries and aquatic resources sector, Fisheries Minister Mr. Douglas Devananda announced the enactment of a revised Fisheries Act. The draft of this transformative legislation has been forwarded to solicit opinions and insights from field experts, marking a collaborative effort to optimize the industry’s potential.

Addressing the media at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) under the theme Collective path to a stable country,’ today (12), Minister Devananda highlighted key initiatives aimed at bolstering the fishing community. Notably, the encouragement of using battery motors for fishing boats was underscored as a measure to alleviate production costs for fishermen and address fuel-related challenges.

Minister Douglas Devananda, while providing his insights during the press conference, expressed admiration for the unprecedented budget plan presented by the current government led by President Ranil Wickremesinghe. The multifaceted challenges posed by factors such as the aftermath of war and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to economic setbacks, causing the country to face considerable adversity. He attributed the rapid recovery of the economically challenged country to the President’s guidance, leadership and the collective support of the nation.

He also said that while abroad, the Minister frequently faces queries from international counterparts curious about Sri Lanka’s rapid recovery. In response, the Minister credits this success to President Ranil Wickremeinghe’s adept guidance and strong leadership. The Minister highlights the President’s distinctive personality and commends the unwavering support from those aligned with the current government. Additionally, the Minister underscores the vital role played by the people of Sri Lanka in understanding the nation’s challenges. Their active cooperation and collaborative efforts with the government have proven instrumental in navigating the crisis and expediting the recovery process.

In the 2024 budget, the Ministry of Fisheries has been allocated Rs. 8,400 million, off that Rs. 6,077 million allocated for capital expenditure and Rs. 2,323 million for recurrent expenditure. Minister Devananda emphasized the importance of utilizing these funds to enhance the overall development of the country, particularly focusing on improving the livelihoods of the fishermen. He also called for support from domestic and foreign private investments to further boost the marine industry.

Battery motors to curb fuel costs
Owing to the surge in fuel prices, the fishing industry in Sri Lanka has experienced significant setbacks. Acknowledging the uncontrollable fluctuations in international fuel prices, the government cannot be held responsible for the resulting increase in prices domestically. In response to this challenge, strategic plans are underway to enhance the maritime sector by maximizing available opportunities. 

The government is actively exploring various alternative methods, with a specific focus on reducing both fuel and production costs within the fishing industry.

Concurrently, a comprehensive study has been undertaken to assess the viability of incorporating battery motors in fishing boats. This initiative aims to alleviate the production costs for fishermen and address the on-going challenges associated with fuel consumption. Experimental trials have been conducted in this domain to gauge the effectiveness and feasibility of integrating battery-powered motors into fishing activities.

Amended Fisheries Act
The Minister highlighted the forthcoming introduction of a new amended Act on Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, emphasizing the collaborative approach taken to seek expert opinions and improve the draft.

‘Most effective solution’
The matter of Indian fishermen participating in fishing activities within Sri Lankan waters necessitates a diplomatic resolution between the two nations. As per the Constitution of India, fisheries issues fall under the jurisdiction of the state government. 

In line with this, it is the Minister’s stance that the most effective solution involves direct engagement. Therefore, he advocates for all members of parliament representing the Northern Province to engage in discussions directly with Indian authorities, including those from Pondicherry and the Tamil Nadu state government and the Indian Media. to solve Indian fishermen 

President’s Media Division (PMD) 
12.12.2023 

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SL wins 1st T20I by 3 runs

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Sri Lanka won the 1st T20I match against Bangladesh by 03 runs, after a thrilling game.

Winning the toss, Bangladesh invited the visitors to bat first, where the visiting Sri Lankans scored 206/3 before limiting the Bangladesh team to 203/8.

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Fuel prices revised

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The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (Ceypetco) has announced that fuel prices will be revised with effect from midnight today (March 04).

Accordingly, prices of Petrol Octane 92 and Auto Diesel have remain unchanged.

Meanwhile, the prices of Petrol Octane 95, Super Diesel and Kerosene have been reduced.

A litre of Petrol Octane 95 has been reduced by Rs. 09 to Rs.447, while a litre of Super Diesel has been reduced Rs. 10 to Rs.458. The price of a Kerosene litre too, has been reduced by Rs. 05 to Rs. 257.

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8 Lankans trafficked to Myanmar, rescued

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The Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that 08 Sri Lankans out of the 56 trapped in cybercrime centres in Myawaddy area in Myanmar have been rescued by the Myanmar government authorities and are currently in the Myawaddy Central Police Station. 

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar is currently working on the early repatriation of the rescued Sri Lankans. As per information made available by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar, the 56 Sri Lankans who have been trafficked are being held in four separate locations in the Myawaddy area and the rescued eight Sri Lankans were in one of these locations in an area that could be accessed by the Myanmar government, a statement by the MFA adds.

The statement further adds : 

The rescue operation undertaken by the Myanmar government follows intensified diplomatic engagements including a communication from President Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed to the Prime Minister of Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing requesting for early intervention and support to rescue and safely repatriate the trapped nationals, which was conveyed via diplomatic channels to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar on 22 February 2024. 

In January 2024, Foreign Minister M. U. M. Ali Sabry took this issue up with the Deputy Prime Minister and Union Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar Than Swe, requesting urgent intervention to rescue Sri Lankan nationals highlighting the seriousness of the situation of the Sri Lankan victims who have been enslaved in cybercriminal activities and urging that early action be taken to rescue all the affected individuals.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in coordination with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar continues to make every effort to rescue and repatriate all Sri Lankan nationals, who have become victims of human trafficking and are trapped in Myanmar, in close collaboration with the Myanmar government authorities. 

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