Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka Kenichi Suganuma, Secretary to the Ministry of Defense Kapila Waidyaratne PC and Director General of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard, Rear Admiral Samantha Wimalathunga were also present at the occasion.
peaking at the occasion State Minister Wijewardene expressed his gratitude to the Japanese Government for the magnanimous gesture of goodwill and also noted the close bilateral ties between the two nations. Further speaking he said that this is the first time in the country's naval and coast guard history that Sri Lanka has received two brand new ships for pollution control and maritime law enforcement duties.
"Sri Lanka is entrusted with a major role in the Indian Ocean and our strategic geo location dictates that we play an important role in the Indian Ocean. The new trend in increasing maritime activities in the Indian Ocean, the situation becomes more complicated with the Bay of Bengal emerging as a critical theatre for economic and strategic competition in the region," he elaborated.
The Navy and Coast Guard are committed towards taking up the responsibility concerning maritime security and safety. The two new vessels will be a great strength to the SLCG, he added. The State Minister highly appreciated Japan for her significant commitment towards the protection of the marine environment.
The two 30-meter vessels were built at the Sumidagawa Shipyard Co. Ltd in Tokyo and were presented to the country on a grant extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) based on the Grant Agreement signed by the Sri Lankan Government and JICA in June 2016 under the project for Maritime Safety Capability Improvement in Sri Lanka.
The two state of the art Patrol Boats will each have an endurance of 750 nautical miles at 12 knots and the maximum trial speed is designed to be 27 knots or more at half load condition. The two completed vessels arrived in Colombo on 02nd July (2018) and were handed over to the SLCG on completion of acceptance trials by the shipbuilding company on 10th the same month. The agreement entails the designing, construction, delivery and crew training of the two FPVs worth 1.83 billion Japanese Yen (Rs. 2.65 billion).