The President today ceremoniously released sea water into Sri Lanka’s second international harbour that will make a significant contribution towards the national economy.
The Magampura International harbour was constructed, realizing a dream entertained by the nation for a number of decades. Hundreds of thousands of people were present to witness the ceremony. President Mahinda Rajapaksa was ushered in by the Mounted Police amidst the cheers of the people. The water was released by the President amidst chanting of Pirith by the Maha Sangha. Leaders of all religions were present to extend their blessings. Water from the Indian Ocean started streaming in thereafter. Magampura Harbour will be recorded in history as the first inland harbour. The water filling will be completed in several phases within several days. After releasing the water, the President addressed the public. The President expressed hope that the negative trends in the Sri Lankans will disappear with each drop of water that flows into the harbour. He said that the water that filled the harbour was symbolic of prosperity and the independence of economy. He said that the harbour should be a symbol of development ushered in with the local strength. He pointed out that the new harbour was a dream of national leaders who lived during several eras. It has created the opportunity to improve the image of Sri Lanka in the international arena. The President recalled how he climbed the nearby hill during his young days and watched the sailing ships. He said that politicians such as D.A. and D.M. Rajapaksa who loved the country had the dream of constructing a harbour. He stressed that the country cannot be content with merely providing fuel and water to the ships. Around 10,000 jobs have to be created centering the harbour. Hereafter this country should not be the junkyard of other countries. He said that Sri Lanka should be made an economic hub of the world. An era of skilled youths will be ushered in providing equal opportunities for all. The President expressed his heartfelt gratitude to China which came forward to construct the harbour. A special cultural programme was also organized to mark the occasion. First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, Ministers, Parliamentarians, Senior Government officials and Diplomats were amongst those who graced the occasion.