US joins Sri Lanka in Container Security, Megaports initiatives

[TamilNet, Thursday, 26 January 2006, 11:48 GMT]
United States joined Government of Sri Lanka in inaugurating Container Security Initiative and Megaports Initiative Thursday, a press release from US embassy in Colombo said. The Megaports Initiative will deter possible terrorist acts involving the illicit shipment of radioactive and nuclear materials through the maritime shipping system.The Container Security Initiative will enhance global container security from the threat posed by terrorism and to promote the smooth movement of international trade, the release said.

Full text of the release follows:

SRI LANKA JOINS INITIATIVE FOR SAFER PORTS, SMOOTH MOVEMENT OF U.S.-LANKAN TRADE:
UNITED STATES PRAISES SRI LANKA'S INAUGURATION OF PROGRAMS
TO CURB TRAFFICKING OF ILLICIT MATERIALS

Colombo, January 26, 2006: The United States joined the Government of Sri Lanka today in inaugurating two initiatives between Sri Lanka and the United States, the Container Security Initiatives and the Megaports Initiative, which will equip Sri Lanka to deter illicit shipments and allow the more rapid transport of containers to the U.S.

The Megaports Initiative will deter possible terrorist acts involving the illicit shipment of radioactive and nuclear materials through the maritime shipping system. The Container Security Initiative will enhance global container security from the threat posed by terrorism and to promote the smooth movement of international trade.

Colombo is the first port in Asia, and only the second port in the world, to benefit from both of these initiatives. Thanks to the importance of this port, the interest on the part of port officials, and the hard work of many US and Sri Lankan individuals, international shipping will be safer due to these programs.

"The global trading system is interconnected. What affects one nation has an impact on others, especially in this era of complex production chains and just-in-time processing," said U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead at the inauguration at the Colombo Harbor. "Moving around the port today, between its massive buildings, viewing its stacks of containers, and seeing evidence of the CSI and Megaports initiatives in place, it is apparent that this port, this integral part of Sri Lanka's economy, understands that it must compete to survive. This port is competing fiercely. And it is succeeding."

Through diligent efforts on the part of government officials, local and international companies, and through its employees and contractors, the Port of Colombo has grown into a port of choice in South Asia. Foreign trade plays a key role in the Sri Lankan economy with total international trade (or imports and exports) amounting to about 1,400 billion Rupees (or US$14 billion).

 

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