Impressed with Kite Festival Minister promises new fishing harbour for VVT

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By 2018-01-16

By Ananth Palakidnar

Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera, who was impressed with the Kite Festival in Velvettiturai (VVT) – which took place on Thai Pongal Day – has pledged to build a new fishing harbour for VVT.

He has also promised to extend the beachfront of VVT for residents in the area to engage in beach sports.

The Kite Festival was organized by the Vigneswara Community Centre for the eighth year. Secretary of the Community Centre, A. Vaseekaran told Ceylon Today that it was for the first time that a Cabinet Minister had participated at the VVT Kite Festival since its re-launch in January 2011 which was also on a Thai Pongal day. According to Vaseekaran, VVT had started the Festival several decades ago and it had been suspended due to the troubles in the North. He said that though VVT has been known as the port city of sea farers, it also has a long tradition of flying kites as a leisure sport.

"Nearly 58 kite enthusiasts took part in the Kite Festival and apart from the first three winners, kite makers of thirty elegantly made kites also won consolation prizes. More than seventy thousand people from various parts of the Jaffna Peninsula gathered at the VVT Revadi Beach to witness the colourful Kite Festival," Vaseekaran said.

Minister Amaraweera who was the chief guest at the festival said that as the situation was not conducive in the past, fishing harbours in the North were neglected and now there was a need to develop them to enhance the livelihood of fisher folk in VVT.

The Minister also said that President Maithripala Sirisena was particular that as far as development activities were concerned, the people of the North should be treated equally as the people in the South.

Among the 58 kites which entered the Kite Festival, the kite maker whose kite depicteda puppet show in the air won the first prize of a gold sovereign.

The second prize was won by a kite maker who had portrayed a swan and the third prize was for a flying robot.

SLFP Jaffna district Parliamentarian, Angajan Ramanathan and Northern Provincial Councillor, M.K. Sivajilingam who is a native of VVT were also present with Minister Amaraweera.

Minister Amaraweera said the Festival was unique and he would bring President Maithripala Sirisena for the Festival next year.

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