SLN arrests 4 Mannar boat operators

[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 September 2006, 16:18 GMT]
Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) arrested and handed over the Delft police four Mannar boat operators for bringing 52 civilians from Mannar to Delft island illegally by boat, police sources said. The four fishermen were produced Sunday before Kayts Magistrate Mr R.T. Wignarajah who directed the police to place the fishermen in remand until 5th October, legal sources in Jaffna said.

More than 2000 Jaffna district residents, who were attending the temple festival in Madhu or who had travelled to Colombo and other areas in the South, have been stranded in Vavuniya and Mannar after the closure of A9 in the second week of August.

Failure of the Sri Lanka Government to provide transport facilities has forced the stranded civilians to seek desperate measures to travel over Mannar seas to return to their homes.

Mannar fishermen charge around Rs.8000 per person and carry 12-15 passengers per boat to bring the civilians to Jaffna.

Meanwhile, SLN officials have issued a warning to Mannar boat operators not to engage in illegal activity and that SLN will take serious action on those caught illegally providing transport to civilians across Mannar seas to Jaffna, sources said.


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