Friday, June 5, 2009

Sri Lanka conducting search on 'LTTE' vessel bound for Wanni

Colombo (PTI) The Sri Lankan Navy is conducting a search on board a suspected LTTE cargo vessel that was seized and now anchored in Panudura coast near here, officials said on Friday.

The vessel, said to be carrying 884 metric tonnes of medical and food supplies reportedly for the LTTE cadres was seized by Sri Lankan Navy patrol craft off the Colombo seas on Thursday.

According to Naval sources, the Syriyan vessel 'Captain Ali' had set off from United Kingdom on April 20, 2009 "under the pretext of a mercy mission" towards Puthumathalan in the then 'No-Fire Zone'.

The vessel is now being towed towards the Colombo harbour with its captain Kristjan Guomundsson, an Icelander and a former Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) member, an official statement said.

Meanwhile, the Navy said the controversial ship was carrying unauthorised cargo collected by LTTE sympathizers in Europe and was reportedly to be distributed to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Wanni.

The vessel had a crew of 15, including one Iceland National, one UK passport holder of Sri Lankan Tamil origin two Egyptian nationals and eleven Syrian nationals, it said.

>> Source