Sri Lanka forum highlights risks to ocean resources

Sri Dharanee Performance Arts Theatre

Feb 22, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s future lies in the vast resources to
be found in the ocean surrounding the island but this wealth is at
risk from pollution and illegal practices, experts said. The country is on the verge of discovering oil and gas in offshore
waters and its location makes it well-placed to serve as a regional
shipping hub, they told a forum.

Sri Lanka’s navy commander Jayanath Colombage said the island’s
position almost in the centre of the Indian Ocean gives it an
advantage at a time when the region’s geo-political significance was
increasing.

He quoted the sayings of several strategic thinkers that the Indian
Ocean would play a decisive role in the 21st century just like the
Pacific and Atlantic oceans in the two previous centuries.

“This should be true when we see how much attention is being given to
the Indian Ocean,” he told the forum on Sri Lanka’s ocean resources
organized by the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International
Relations and Strategic Studies.

“The future of our country lies in the ocean around us,” Colombage declared.

This sentiment was echoed by Terney Pradeep Kumar, a scientist heading
the Department of Oceanography