Kachchaithivu stranded refugees rescued

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 September 2004, 16:40 GMT]
25 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees stranded in Kachchathivu, an islet in Indian Ocean, were rescued and transported to Nedunthivu, one of the islets in Jaffna peninsula by a co-operative passenger boat Friday evening, Jaffna district secretariat sources said.

The refugees, including five women, six children and a ten-month-old baby, left Thangachchimadam in Rameswaram, South India, five days ago in boats owned by Indian fishermen.

Indian boatmen left them in Kachchaitivu on Sunday stating they had arrived in Nedunthivu.

Later only the refugees realized that the boatmen had duped them, one of the refugees said.

In the meantime, three of these refugees arrived Nedunthivu Thursday using an abandoned Sri Lankan Navy boat in midsea and reported to the Nedunthivu Assistant Government Agent that more than 20 refugees are in Kachchathivu since Sunday without food and water, sources said.

Nedunthivu Assistant Government Agent and his officials rushed to Kachchathivu in a boat owned by Nedunthivu co-operative society and rescued the stranded refugees.

They were brought to Neduntheivu with the security provided by the Sri Lanka Navy, sources said.

Jaffna district secretariat plans to send the refugees to their native villages in the districts of Jaffna, Vavuniya and Mannar, sources said.


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