Sept 21, Colombo: The new United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele J. Sison handed over fishing supplies to 130 families in Kallar, Kilinochchi on September 20, 2012, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said in a release.
This donation, through the U.S. Embassy's development arm, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is part of a larger initiative of partnering with families in conflict-affected areas, bringing dignity back to their communities.
Although the fisheries sector remains an economic mainstay for the Northern Province, its growth suffered in recent decades from the longstanding conflict, repeated displacements and related limitations on sea access. Three years after the conflict's conclusion, many displaced fishing families are resettling in their communities, but face challenges due to lack of equipment.
Speaking at the handover ceremony in the Kilinochchi district, Ambassador Sison said, "You have advocated, against many difficulties, to secure access to the sea. You have travelled across the district, searching for a better way of living. It is our hope that these 10 boats, the nets and gear will assist you as you continue to restore your lives; the U.S. Government is committed to helping rebuild Sri Lanka's communities with initiatives such as this one."
In addition to providing equipment, USAID organizes exposure visits and training programs, giving the fishermen of Kallar an opportunity to learn new technologies, sustainable fish harvesting and environmentally sound practices from southern fishermen.