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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2676

Sri Lanka Navy intercepted relief ship ‘MV Captain Ali, bound for Vanni

Colombo, 05 June, ( Sri Lanka Navy onThe controversial ship MV ‘Captain Ali’ carrying unauthorized cargo collected by LTTE sympathizers in EuropeThe controversial ship MV ‘Captain Ali’ carrying unauthorized cargo collected by LTTE sympathizers in Europe Thursday intercepted a freighter funded by Tamil Tiger sympathizers bound for Vanni, which reached Sri Lankan waters three weeks after LTTE was squarely defeated in the war. The war was declared over on 18 May after nearly 26 years of fighting.

Navy ships intercepted the ‘Captain Ali,’ funded by a British-based group that calls itself ‘Mercy Mission to Vanni,’ 160 km (100 miles) west of Colombo.

Originally 'Vanangaman', a suspected LTTE run vessel, set sail from Ipswich and arrived in France on 20 th April. According to a report, the 'Vananga Mann' ship changed course and set sail to France where it offloaded its cargo at Fecamp. The cargo was then transported overland to the French port of Fos-Sur-Mer, where it was loaded onto MV 'Captain Ali' with another load of supplies. The second leg of the 'Mercy Mission' began on the 7th May, from the said port in France with MV 'Captain Ali' carrying a cargo of 884 MT.

The vessel sailing under the Syrian flag had a crew of fifteen (15) including one (01)Ice Land national, one(01) English national, two(02) Egyptian nationals and eleven (11) Syrian nationals. The Captain was a Syrian national. The vessel is 93m in length and 14m in breath and is now being brought down to Colombo for further investigations.

According to Sri Lanka Navy, the whole campaign was monitored by Kristjan Guomundsson, the Ice Land national who was onboard MV 'Captain Ali' at the time of its seizure by the Sri Lankan Navy.

Incidentally Kristjan was an ex-SLMM (Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission) Naval Monitor turned LTTE sympathizer who was the head of SLMM’s Liason Office in Kilinochchi and later in its Jaffna office.

The Sri Lanka Navy had maintained a close watch over the development of events and had a steady flow of information on the movement of the 'Rogue Vessel' from various reliable sources and was ready to intercept the controversial vessel if it tries to enter Sri Lankan waters.

"We rounded up the ship and it's being brought closer to shore for checking. We know that it was coming with no local agent, no details of the cargo and the cargo was loaded by pro-LTTE (people) in the U.K. and France," Navy spokesman Captain Mahesh Karunaratne said.

None of the crew of 15, including a former member of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission which kept watch over a barely-observed 2002 ceasefire, were arrested, but were being questioned, he said.

- Asian Tribune -

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