Sri Lanka Navy rescues abandoned refugees

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 February 2005, 11:53 GMT]
Seventeen refugees rescued by Sri Lanka Navy from a sandbank at mid sea were produced in the Mannar court Monday. Indian refugee runners who had promised to illegally ferry them to Mannar abandoned them on one of the shifting sandbanks of the Adam’s Bridge in the early hours of Saturday morning. Mannar magistrate released the refugees.

They had paid three thousand Indian rupees each to the boatmen who ferried them from Rameswaram on the Tamil Nadu coast. They had set out on Friday night from the south Indian coastal town.

They had spent a day in the middle of the sea when the Sri Lanka Navy found them on Sunday morning.

The refugees, comprising seven families, were living in a camp in Puthukkoddai in Tamil Nadu. They had fled the Sri Lankan conflict in 1989 from the village of Mullikulam and from Poovarasankulam.

Mullikulam is a remote coastal village near the Mannar-Puttalam district boundary.

Residents fled the area in 1989 when the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam, an ex-Tamil rebel group which was based there started small scale attacks on Sri Lanka army positions in the remote parts of the Puttalam district. The Mullikulam area was also shelled by the Indian army.

Poovarasankulam is a village in the Vavuniya district on the road to Mannar. The place was occupied by the Sri Lanka army until Colombo signed the ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers.

 

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