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August 30, 2018

JICA boost Sri Lanka`s Maritime Capability via provision of two FPVs to Sri Lanka Coast Guard

Two state of the art custom made Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) built in Japan for the Sri Lanka Coast Guard were ceremonially handed over & commissioned on 29th day of August, 2018 at the port of Colombo in the presence of Honorable State Minister of Ministry of Defence of the Government of Sri Lanka Mr. Ruwan Wijewardene, Honorable State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Japan Mr. Kazuyuki NAKANE and His Excellency the Ambassador of Japan Mr. Kenichi SUGANUMA and other distinguished guests. Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka office, Mr. Fusato TANAKA & Secretary of Defence Mr. Kapila Waidyarathne was also among the invitees present at this National Ceremony.

Following a Joint Statement signed in year 2014 between the Government of Sri Lanka and Government of Japan in ratifying bilateral cooperation in the maritime sector, JICA signed a Grant Agreement in year 2016 with the Government of Sri Lanka on the project for "Maritime Safety Capability Improvement" aiming to boost SLCGs operational capacity through provision of two FPVs. It is expected that the project will contribute towards the improvement of maritime safety, law enforcement, search and rescue, monitoring & surveying, disaster response activities in assisting to preserve marine environment and its resources in surrounding sea of Sri Lanka.

The two FPVs worth of 1.83 billion Japanese Yen are the first of its kind to be handed over to SLCG and to be equipped with modern equipment on maritime pollution control having a flotation boom and a skimmer system which can contain & skim oil at sea. Capable of carrying 12 persons on board on each vessel, the two FPVs can produce a maximum speed of more than 27 knots at sea in allowing SLCG to carryout maritime law enforcement activities efficiently. On board modern firefighting equipment & rigid hull inflammable boats will further enable SLCG to conduct search & rescue & surveying activities at different sea conditions arising from the monsoon climates.

"Sri Lanka thrives towards an economic and trade hub in the South Asian region as a key base for maritime and air aviation, a center of commerce in connecting the east and the west. Sri Lanka's strategic location within the trans-Indian ocean sea route has entrusted the Government with many responsibilities in ensuring a safe, serine & peaceful sea surrounding Sri Lanka. The two brand new vessels granted by the Government of Japan will assist Sri Lanka Coast Guard to confront new challengers of pollution control & law enforcement while strengthening its regional cooperation systems in sustaining and managing of maritime resources. I would like to thank Government of Japan & JICA for the support provided. This grant will truly remain as a result of a long term friendship between both countries" said Honorable State Minister of Defense Mr. Ruwan Wijewardene in addressing the gathering.

"I truly hope that this assistance will further strengthen Sri Lanka Coast Guard capacity in the areas of search & rescue & oil spill incident management at sea. In ensuring a peaceful and a stable Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka Coast Guard's contribution is indispensable and expected" said Honorable State Minister Mr. Kazuyuki NAKANE.

JICA has also engaged in several other important maritime cooperation initiatives extending valuable technical assistance & equipment provision to SLCG. Equipment considered indispensable in managing, containing and mitigating any damage to the environment during an oil spill has been provided under JICA advisory services. Equipment helped SLCG to respond diligently during recent oil spillages occurred in inland waters at the Thaldiyawatte Lagoon Dickowita. Further, collaborating with Japan Coast Guard (JCG) JICA organized the first ever local training course at SLCG Headquarters in Mirrissa on Oil Spill Incident Management in year 2015 extending its support up to year 2017.

Through JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Programs more than 30 Sri Lanka Coast Guard officers have received extensive training in Japan on maritime oil spill incident management, maritime law enforcement, search & rescue, disaster prevention and environment protection & etc. Further extending capacity building assistance for promising SLCG officers, an advanced educational programme known as the ‘Maritime Safety and Security Policy' was introduced in year 2016 to Sri Lanka Coast Guard, in which already three SLCG officers have been accepted for Master Degree Programs in Japan.

As per the request of the Government of Sri Lanka, JICA expects to further extend its support to SLCG through a three year technical cooperation project in transferring oil incident management skills from year 2019.

PhotoTwo FPVs were commissioned in the presence of the chief guests from both sides

PhotoTwo FPVs were commissioned in the presence of the chief guests from both sides

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