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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2736

Sri Lanka Navy Rescues 71 lives of Illegal Immigrants – Myanmar and Bangladesh nationals.

By Ravin Edirisinghe in Colombo

Colombo, 03 March, ( Sri Lanka Navy's Deep Sea Surveillance vessels rescued 71 lives of illegal immigrants who were onboard a wooden hull trawler which was drifting at a distance of 150 nautical miles East of Mullaituvu around 8.00 a.m. today).

The presence of a suspected vessel off the shores of Mulaithuvu was noted by the fishermen and same have been informed to the Sri Lanka Navy yesterday (02). The Sri Lanka Navy's Eastern Naval Command then had directed two Deep Sea Surveillance vessels to investigate the vessel.

Details revealed by the naval ships indicate that this Burmese wooden hull craft has left Myanmar on February 09, with 67 Myanmar nationals and have later sailed towards Bangladesh to pick another 24 Bangladeshi nationals. These illegal immigrants have taken a voyage towards Malaysia or Thailand seeking job opportunities.

An engine failure has occurred on 20, February and they had no option but to drift out in the deep seas. Lack of food and water made the survivability of the 91 crew onboard and as a result of this 17 Myanmar nationals and 03 Bangladeshi's have passed away onboard. Fifty (50) Myanmar nationals and 21 Bangladeshi's remain in the vessels at the time of the rescue mission by the naval vessels today morning.

Speaking to Asiantribune, naval Spokesman Commander DKP Dassanayake told that this vessel will be taken to Trincomalee port for further investigations and added that Navy did their best to save these remaining 71 lives.

- Asian Tribune -

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