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DateLine Friday, 13 February 2009

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Oceansí full harvest now ours - President

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday asserted that along with the eradication of terrorism and the consequent expansion of the sea area, the nationís youth, inclusive of that of the LTTE, could now be fruitfully utilized for the uplift of the Motherland.

President Rajapaksa made this assertion when he presided and addressed the second annual convocation ceremony of the National Institute of Fisheries and Nautical Engineering (the Ocean University), at the Presidential Secretariat.

He said with the liberation of the North and the East from the ruthless terrorists, there has been a marked improvement in the fishing sector now. Due to security reasons, certain restrictions had been imposed on the fishing activities in the past.

These restrictions undoubtedly did have a profound impact on the livelihoods of the fishing fraternity. Sailing even a 100 metres from coast in certain areas was strictly prohibited then.

Now though the ocean area has been enhanced exponentially, 23 fold.

We believe the Ocean University will play a vital role in harnessing the contributions of the nationís youth, including that of the LTTE, which unfortunately had been diverted elsewhere and deployed for the destruction of our motherland.

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Felix Perera and the Chairman of the Ocean Institute Prof. Ranjith Senaratne also addressed the ceremony.

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