Sept 02, 2009 (LBO) – The Asian Shippers’ Council is to relocate its permanent secretariat to Sri Lanka from Singapore following the improved security environment in the island with the end of the 30-year ethnic war, an official said. The ASC has also decided to appoint Rohan Masakorala, former chairman of the Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council, as its first Secretary General.
Masakorala told a news conference the move will give a huge boost to Sri Lanka’s image which has long been battered by negative reports owing to the war.
The ASC’s decision to move to Colombo came as a result of the success of government forces in defeating the Tamil Tiger rebels in May, he said.
It also came after a successful annual meeting of the ASC in Colombo in August.
“We’ve been trying to get this kind of conference to Sri Lanka for the last two decades but it was not done because Sri Lanka was seen as a dangerous country.”
The defeat of the rebels in May was a “turning point”, he added.
“The international community has recognized that Sri Lanka is the place to be.”
The shift of the ASC’s secretariat to Colombo means thousands of Asian shippers have recognized Colombo as a major maritime centre for the region.