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Norwegian company donates sea craft, felicitates Colombo’s ‘victorious’ forces

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 February 2009 08:57 No Comment]

20090220_N02_76836_200 Managing Director of a Norwegian boat manufacturing company, Jostine Viksund, Friday said that he and his staff had decided to donate their latest innovation, Viksund 605, a speed boat produced by them, to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence, as a "tribute to the victorious armed forces," according to the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry, which said the craft would be used in coastguard duties. More than 400 Tamil Nadu fishermen have been reportedly killed by the Sri Lanka Navy on coastguard duties during the last few years.

 

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who received the craft from Mr. Jostein Viksund of the Colombo based Norwegian company, Viskund Asia Private Limited, expressed his gratitude to the company on behalf of all the members of the armed forces.

The parent company of Viksund, a first manufacturer of fiber-glass boats in Scandinavia, was established in 1966 and is situated at Strusshamn, outside Bergen, the second largest city of Norway.

The sophisticated products of this company range from fishing and cruising boats to coastguard vessels.
Viksund Asia based in Church Road, Dungalpitiya in Negombo, Sri Lanka, is known for producing low-priced high quality boats and marketing them worldwide.

The first Norwegian venture of building fibreglass boats in the island of Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, was in the year 1967, when Cey-Nor established a boat-producing yard in Kaarainakar island, off Jaffna.
It was started by active initiative of three Tamils, who had gone to Norway for this purpose and invited a Norwegian entrepreneur. At a time when local fishermen viewed fibreglass boats with scepticism, the successful use of Cey-Nor boats in the waters of Jaffna fetched much acclaim to the Norwegian product.
In fact the very relationship of Sri Lanka and Norway took off from this venture of boat building started at Kaarainakar.

However, for obvious reasons of state interference, and eventually state taking over the industry in 1983, Jaffna was abandoned of boat manufacturing. Sri Lankan state policies made Norwegian entrepreneurs to confine their activities only to southern parts of Sri Lanka.

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