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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2404

Sri Lankan coast guard arrested 30 Rohingya refugees off Kankesanthurai

Kankesanthurai, 01 May, (Asiantribune.com):

Sri Lanka Coast Guards has yesterday seized a vessel carrying 32 illegal migrants off Kankesanthurai.

According to Sri Lanka Navy, 30 Myanmar nationals including 16 children and two Indians were among the arrested.

Navy Spokesman Lieutenant Commander Chaminda Walakuluge told Asian Tribune that there were 30 Myanmar nationals and 2 Indians in the vessel.

Among the detained, there was sixteen children, all below the age of nine year, including a 15-day-old and four-month old infant. The people held include seven men, seven women and 16 children, besides the two Indian crew.

The Navy Spokesman added that the detainees were given first aid soon after they were brought ashore.

"It was revealed during the preliminary investigations that these Myanmar nationals are identified as Rohingya refugees and they have sought asylum in India due to the ethnic conflicts that prevailed in the country.

They were granted refugee status in India four years ago and it was due to expire in June this year. It is said, this can be the reason behind the illegal fleeing of these refugees to another destination," the Navy Spokesman said.

The Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar's Rakhine state are denied citizenship and faces brutal discrimination in the Buddhist- majority country.

The boat operated by two Indians had entered Sri Lanka’s northern waters after crossing the sea border, Navy Spokesman Chaminda Walakuluge said. The Coast Guard informed the Navy about the illegal boat around 10 am yesterday which was 12 nautical miles off the KKS coast.

The illegal migrants and the boat were handed over to the KKS Police after been brought to the KKS port.

Investigations revealed that the boat had capsized at mid sea and Indian fisherman had transported them to Sri Lankan territorial waters.

Further investigations are being carried out to find out their intended destination.

Yesterday, Kankesanthurai Police took the arrested illegal immigrants to Mallakam Magistrate Courts and were remanded till 2nd May (Tomorrow) and are to be produced before the Jaffna Magistrate.

Navy Media Spokesman told Asian Tribune that this was not the first time Rohingya refugees were arrested, earlier also in 2013 February, a boat (Bhai Bhai - S) carrying 88 'Rohingyas' were rescued by the Navy off Oluvil harbor, in the Eastern Province. Furthermore about the same year, about 80 Bangladeshis were arrested off the coast of Galle.

- Asian Tribune -

Sri Lankan coast guard  arrested 30 Rohingya refugees off Kankesanthurai
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