2ND LEAD (Correction, added details)

Somalian sea pirates release Sri Lankan captive

[TamilNet, Saturday, 29 October 2005, 13:05 GMT]
Selvathurai Mahalingam (58), captain of a Kenyan ship, who had been detained by a group of Somalian sea pirates for 101 days was released and returned to Sri Lanka on Friday (October 28th). The ship had been seized close to the waters of Somalia, Mr.Mahalingam told TamilNet.

Captian Selvathurai MahalingamThe ship, named MV Semlov, was hired by the World Food Programme and he was sailing with food items to Somalia from Kenya when his ship was hijacked.

Describing the frightful experience, he said that his captives were eating raw meat and he was unaware what kind of food he had to consume while he was in their captivity.

Mr.Mahalingam was reunited with his family members on Friday when he arrived at the Katunayake International Airport.

Mr.Mahalingam said even though he and nine others captives were not physically harmed, they were subject to mental torture.

Mr.Mahalingam expressed his appreciation to Sri Lanka's President Kumaratunga and the foreign ministry for their intervention to save him.


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