June 25 Day of the Seafarer
As the world comes together to celebrate and recognize the seafarers’ contribution to the world, I would love to recognize their yeoman’s service with a deep sense of respect and gratitude. I personally know the hard work and the sacrifices made by seafarers as I hail from a family of mariners. This year’s theme, “Seafarers are key workers” is extremely apt due to the persisting issues with regards to the Covid-19 virus and it affecting crew changes.
Seafarers have always been on the frontline of economic development and in this instance the economic recovery of nations. Saying that it is safe to say that Governments and Authorities world over have been very slow to find solutions and this has prompted the “ITF-International Transport Workers’ Federation” to give the green light for seafarers to ‘down their tools’ as their warnings went unnoticed. They have a right to return home and we should do the virtuous thing by standing for this right until last crew changes are facilitated.
From a Sri Lankan and National Carriers’ perspective, — Ceylon Shipping Corporation has always stood for developing our marine human resources since its inauguration in 1971. CSC’s fleet has been intertwined with seafarer lives since the 70’s to the modern-day and has produced many Master Mariners, Officers and Ratings, who in turn have given so much back to the industry. Therefore, we take this opportunity to also look back and remember each and every decision-maker who made this possible and leaders such as late Hon. Dr P.B.G Kalugalla will be remembered with a deep sense of gratitude.
In 2013, under the leadership of Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa the then President and Minister of Ports and Shipping, steps were taken to revive the national carrier by ordering two brand new ships- M/V Ceylon Breeze and M/V Ceylon Princess which were delivered in 2016. Since then, CSC has assumed its standard role of extending our commitment to onboard training by working with maritime training establishments directly in the most transparent manner possible.
We carry 8 deck and engine cadets per ship and we have been running the cadetship program for 52 months now. Under the guidance of the Hon. Minister of Ports and Shipping, we are currently in the process of furthering our commitment to training excellence with comprehensive onboard training with innovative solutions to groom the Sri Lankan seafarers of tomorrow.
Mr W. S. Weeraman
Chairman Ceylon Shipping Corporation
Vice-Chairman – Managing Director of Sri Lanka Ports Authority