Sri Lanka Navy ship as floating venue

Sri Lanka's state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene (L) takes part in a press conference in Colombo on April 24, 2019. - A Sri Lankan security dragnet hunting those responsible for horrifying bombings that claimed more than 350 lives has scooped up a further 18 suspects, police said April 24, as pressure mounted on politicians to explain why no one acted on intelligence warnings. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Jan 25, 2010 (LBO) – A refurbished troop transport is being hired out as a conference and wedding venue by the Sri Lanka Navy in a joint move with the island’s tourist promotion agency, officials said. The ship is being marketed as a venue for weddings, conference and corporate events.

The ship can be booked for other events on hourly basis or for day trips, either docked in the port or outside the territorial waters from February this year, officials said.

The vessel will be manned by Navy crew, catering and entertainment would be outsourced when required. The ‘Jetliner’ was used to transport troops from the Eastern port of Trincomalee to Kankasanthurai in the Northern Jaffna peninsular in long drawn out war that ended last May.

Following a fourth month refurbishment program it will be a flag bearer of an attempt by tourist authorities to promote a ‘maritime culture’ in Sri Lanka.

“We are a small country with a wealth of ocean around us, it is time we use ocean travel,” tourism minister Achala Jagoda said at a press launch and demonstration cruise of the craft.

Officials say consideration is being given to building new jetties for travel around the country to promote a mariti