Sri Lanka unfolds a new chapter in world history with the arrival of the first vessel at the newly-built Magampura International Harbour.
This Harbour occupies a significant place among the mega development projects mooted. The fist vessel entered the Harbour at an auspicious time this morning realizing the dream of the entire nation. President Rajapaksa unveiled the plaque of the Harbour in the midst of Pirith chanted by the Maha Sangha after the conduct of multi-religious observances. First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa and many Parliamentarians graced the occasion. It was thereafter the invitation was extended for the first vessel to enter the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Port. Thereafter the Jetliner Vessel of the Sri Lanka Navy sailed into the world’s first-ever inbuilt Harbour, amidst the chanting of Pirith by the Maha Sangha and to a loud applause of the public, re-writing naval history books. With this ship entering the Harbour after sailing 90 nautical miles from the Naval Base in Galle, a replica of an ancient Samban (sail yacht of the Arab traders) that dominated the Silk Route in bygone days, entered into its waters. Thereafter the first cargo vessel sailed into the Harbour at the auspicious time of 11.51 a.m. A notable feature was the launch of the second stage of this Mega Project. The President initiated the work at the auspicious time of 11.57 a.m.
The President is launching all these development programmes with the intention of making Sri Lanka the Asia’s Miracle. A first Day cover and a special commemorative stamp were issued to mark this significant event.
Addressing the gathering with much pride, the President said the World Map has now been changed. He pointed out that he was geared for another revolution in the Harbour sector within the next few years through the massive development projects.
Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardene, Chairman of the Port Authority Priyath Banduwickrema, Chinese President’s Special Representative Swang Guowei also expressed their views.
President Rajapaksa launched the construction of the Hambantota Harbour on 15th 2008. 50 Billion Rupees has been spent on the first phase of the Project. The Port has the ability to anchor four ships under this stage. After the completion of work, it will be five times bigger than the Colombo Harbour.