Naval cargo vessel under attack; sailors escape
A 70-metre long cargo vessel came under attack at 2.15 a.m. yesterday
at the Naval harbour in Trincomalee. The sailors on board at the time of
the attack escaped without any injury, according to Navy spokesperson
Commander D. K. P. Dassanayake.
Commander Dassanayake told the Sunday Observer that when the vessel
came under attack by the Sea Tigers it was anchored in the harbour and
did not contain any cargo. “The vessel which weighs around 5,000 tonnes
and 70 metres in length sank after the attack”, the Navy spokesperson
He said that this particular vessel was apprehended by the Navy in
Lankan waters with 254 people on board when she was involved in human
trafficking in 2003. The ship was later confiscated by the Navy
following a court order. In 2005 the vessel was also badly damaged due
to the tsunami waves when it was anchored in Galle in 2004. However, it
was repaired and used by the Navy.
“We believe the attack was carried out by an LTTE suicide squad under
water, due to frustration that it could not bring its lethal cargo into
Lankan waters,” Commander Dassanayake said.
Meanwhile, police in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu seized a massive haul
of explosive items in 85 gunny bags and arrested five persons who
attempted to smuggle them to Sri Lanka on Wednesday. The gunny bags
contained detonators, gelignite sticks, wires and various other
The suspects who are being currently grilled by the Rameswaram police
said that they were taking them to the LTTE at the time the police
nabbed them on the Rameswaram high seas.
Investigations are also being carried out to track down the smuggling
network that operates between the LTTE and Rameswaram despite the
stringent security measures in place to prevent LTTE links with South