Oct 10, Colombo: Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena says he was able to get all the Sri Lankan fishermen arrested by Seychelles for illegal fishing in the island country's waters as a result of his discussions with the President of Seychelles Danny Faure.
The President speaking at the "Miridiya Waruna 2018" awards ceremony held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall on Wednesday said that according to the agreement reached at the discussions, those fishermen were released this afternoon.
The President, pointing out that the fisheries industry and the fishing community are a strong force in this country emphasized that the government will never weaken the fisheries sector and that every effort would be made to uplift the fisheries industry.
Further speaking, the President said that the present government has taken steps to allocate more funds than all other governments for the welfare of fisheries and fisheries community.
The President also said that the housing scheme proposed for the fisher community will be further strengthened.
He said the fishermen that are a considerable contribution to the National Economy will be facilitated with all necessary requirements, for the upliftment of the Fisheries Industry.
Rural inland fisheries organizations handed over a special note of their requests to the President at the occasion.
The President promised to promptly fulfill their requests including Increasing fish fry stocks required for reservoirs, obtaining fishing equipment, obtaining government lands for aquaculture, deployment of officers for the proper management of reservoirs, providing infrastructure facilities and financial allocations for the fishing industry.
The President further stated, in the next Budget, allocations will be made to meet with the requests put forward by individuals engaged in Inland Fisheries, while Ornamental Fish Farming will also be developed.
This award ceremony was organized by the National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka for the appreciation of the entire freshwater fishing and aquaculture community.
The President presented awards to fishermen and aquaculture growers who have shown talent and excellence in various aspects.
Fishing gear and fishing boats were also distributed amongst fisher communities.
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Vijith Vijayamuni de Zoysa, State Minister Dilip Wedaarachchi, Deputy Minister Ameer Ali, Sri Lanka National Aquaculture Development Authority Chairman Nuwan Prasanna Madavanarachchi and fishermen from all parts of the country joined the occasion.