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70 SL asylum seekers saved from watery grave

24 July 2013 09:31 am - 3     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


At least 70 Sri Lankan asylum seekers who were in distress, 290 nautical miles south east of Sri Lanka were rescued today by a merchant vessel after being informed by the Sri Lanka Navy.

Navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya said the navy sent out messages to several merchant ships in the vicinity to locate the troubled fishing trawler
“The merchant ship located the fishing trawler which was in international waters. So we took steps to inform several merchant ships going through the channel which we believed to be the possible location of the ship,” he said. “A large number of merchant vessels use the route.”

Commander Wanrakulasuriya said the merchant ship was requested to transfer the refugees to the vessel so that our Navy vessels could take them aboard at the International Maritime Boundary Line.

The Navy was informed by the Galle DIG’s office on Tuesday evening about the fishing trawler. Therefore it is believed that they had left Sri Lanka from a location in the Galle area.

The police have taken steps to identify the individuals who had boarded the fishing trawler and a special probe is underway to track down the local facilitators.

Despite Australia -- a possible destination or a perceived haven for asylum seekers -- introducing several restrictions including the threat of deportation to the country of origin, the attempts to flee Sri Lanka have increased.

Potential asylum seekers have being warned not to fall prey to designing human traffickers but sadly all such warnings go unheeded. (SD)

  Comments - 3

  • Ranjith Silva Wednesday, 24 July 2013 10:42 AM

    And a good news about saving lives. Tks for all those brave and big hear gentlemen. Life is a life, irrespective of rich, poor or nationality.

    Z.A.M.Shukoor Wednesday, 24 July 2013 12:07 PM

    Well done Hon.Dayasiri Jayasekera ! despite being rotten in the UNP you have taken a wise decision to Join the GOVT.Join hand with us & let us serve the people of Sri Lanka .

    Secretary SLFP Branch Dippitiya ,Aranayaka

    namal Wednesday, 24 July 2013 01:47 PM

    These people could be 'Kallathonis'? or Muslims from Minamar? this may be the new trick? Be vijilant people. Our Authorities can be bought. .. so many try to invade this country by this sort of ways. Army should be more brainy.

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