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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2584

President Commissions Patrol Boats Gifted by Australia

Colombo, 10 July, (Asiantribune.com):

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, this morning at the Port of Colombo, ceremonially commissioned the “Mihikatha” and “Rathnadeepa” patrol boats that were gifted by the Australian Government to Sri Lanka.

Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison also participated in the ceremony. The two patrol boats were gifted as a gesture of goodwill to the Sri Lanka Navy.

Following the ceremony, President Rajapaksa and Minister Morrison held discussions during which the President thanked Australia for the patrol boats and Australia’s continuous support for Sri Lanka in the international arena.

Morrison commended what he described as “very close cooperation” between Australian authorities and Sri Lanka’s Police and Navy towards preventing illegal boats carrying asylum-seekers. He also said that despite the measures both countries are taking to prevent illegal migration, groups with vested interests are likely to continue promoting it. Therefore, continued collaboration is crucial.

The Australian Minister, who had visited Sri Lanka previously, including Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu, also commented on Sri Lanka’s post-war development.

“On the economic development front, the progress is significant,” Morrison said during the meeting with President Rajapaksa. “The progress is fairly evident,” he added, noting that the election that took place in the North was also a significant step. About any political process that takes place in the country, Morrison said, “The processes that work best are the ones that come from within the country.” Morrison added that Australia stands ready to support Sri Lanka’s post-war progress in any way that it can.

The Minister also spoke about Sri Lanka’s potential for tourism. Having experienced travel on the Katunayake Expressway for the first time during this visit, the Minister described it as “a critical piece of infrastructure,” noting that proper infrastructure is crucial in facilitating tourism.

Australian Parliamentarian Don Randall and Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Ms. Robyn Mudie accompanied Minister Morrison.

Deputy Minister of Ports and Highways Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne, Chief of Defence Staff General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera and Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake were also present at the event.

- Asian Tribune –

President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrives at the Port of Colombo this morning for the ceremonial commissioning of the patrol boats that were gifted by the Australian Government to Sri Lanka. (Pix By : Sudath Silva)
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President Mahinda Rajapaksa inspects the guard of honour prior to the ceremonial commissioning of the patrol boats.
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President Mahinda Rajapaksa is seen here at the Port of Colombo while the national anthem is played at the event for the ceremonial commissioning of the patrol boats gifted to Sri Lanka by Australia.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is presented with the Commissioning Warrants for the Sri Lanka Navy Ships (SLNS) “Mihikatha” and “Rathnadeepa” this morning at the Port of Colombo.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa unveils the name board of SLNS “Mihikatha” patrol boat. Also pictured are Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Mr. Scott Morrison, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera and Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Ms. Robyn Mudie.
President Commissions Patrol Boats Gifted by Australia
President Commissions Patrol Boats Gifted by Australia
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, along with Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Mr. Scott Morrison, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera and officers from Sri Lanka Navy, pose for a photograph following the ceremony.
The two patrol boats that the Australian Government gifted to the Sri Lanka Navy as a gesture of goodwill sailed from the Port of Cairns in Australia April 5 and June 4 of this year with Sri Lankan Naval officers and sailors on board. They sailed a total of 4,800 nautical miles within 20 days and reached the Port of Colombo April 24 and June 25.
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