- Says shipping crews reluctant to enter due to advisories
- Applauds strict security measures taken to protect ports
- Affirms no slowdown in shipping industry activities
By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
Sri Lanka’s shipping industry yesterday applauded the strict measures taken to ensure the safety of the country’s sea ports, but asserted it is time the government kicked off working towards lifting the travel advisories issued against foreigners entering the island nation.
Speaking to Mirror Business on the status of shipping industry activities following the Easter Sunday bombings that directly hit industries such as tourism, Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) noted that the key concern affecting their industry is the travel advisories.
“The most important are the travel advisories, those should be withdrawn. We find less people travelling from other countries and they wouldn’t want to enter Sri Lanka for any purpose. Now that the situation is returning to normalcy, it is necessary that the government works towards lifting these advisories at the earliest,” CASA Secretary General Ralph Anandappa said.
Shedding light on the impact of such advisories, he explained that crew members or officers of shipping lines would not want to enter the country since their respective governments have advised them not to.
“To that extent there can be an effect on the business. The passenger ships need to start calling here. For that to happen the advisories need to be lifted,” reiterated Anandappa.
A number of countries, including the UK, US, and China among others, warned their citizens against visiting Sri Lanka following the spate of bombings on churches and hotels on Easter Sunder that claimed the lives of over 250 people and wounded 500 others.
However, the CASA chief stressed strengthening security at the ports was a welcome move and in fact was “reassuring”.
Pointing out there is no slowdown in activities or any interruptions, he stressed that “everything is working smoothly”.
“There is only a slight delay in getting the containers into the port due to the heavy security measures and checkups, but nothing drastic. These measures and precautions are necessary and actually reassuring,” said Anandappa.
Meanwhile, Shippers Academy Colombo CEO Rohan Masakorala asserted that all necessary measures have been taken to safeguard the shipping and logistics industry.
“The ports have taken the best security measures and the industry is highly cooperative in this regard. The international shipping companies have been given the best possible environment and the operations are going on as normal,” said Masakorala.