SL Tamil refugees rescued at mid-sea

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 October 2002, 14:01 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Navy Sunday rescued twelve members of three displaced families at midsea west of Mannar and handed them over to the Talaimannar police, sources said. They were returning from Rameswaram in South India after spending twelve years in a refugee camp there. They had left in a boat Saturday midnight on the promise that they would be given safe passage to Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. They paid three thousand rupees per head to Indian boatmen as hire. But the boatmen left them on a sandbank in mid-sea around early morning Sunday, sources said.

A SLN patrol spotted them stranded on a sandbank in Mid-sea struggling for their lives.

They were then rescued and handed over to the Talaimannar Police by SLN personnel, sources said.

The twelve refugees were produced before the Mannar Magistrate Mr.M.P.Mohideen Monday. The court then ordered the Mannar district secretariat officials to take immediate steps to resettle them in their villages. One of the families was from the Trincomalee district.

The others are from Mannar district, sources said. They said they had decided to return to Sri Lanka following reports that normalcy was returning to the island after the ceasefire agreement between the Colombo and the Liberation Tigers.

 

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