Investigation into Airforce bombing

[TamilNet, Monday, 17 August 1998, 21:47 GMT]
At a press conference held in the Ambebussa Sinha Regiment military camp, the secretary of defence Mr. Anurutha Ratwatte said that an investigation was being launched into the controversy surrounding the ship, "Princess Kash".

The cargo ship was bombed and destroyed by the Sri Lankan airforce last Friday.

Mr. Ratwatte stated further that the real name of the ship was "M. B. Sofia" and that the ship was renamed while it was hired for duty in Sri Lanka.

He also mentioned that the ship was registered in Belize and that another ship that was destroyed while carrying weapons one year ago, was also registered in the same country. This similarity was why the ship came under the suspicion of the Sri Lankan airforce, he added.

There were 4500 Metric tons of cargo in the ship. Mr. Rattwatte said and had Airforce not acted in time, the cargo would have been captured by the LTTE.

People who had shipped cargo on the bombed ship are being subjected to investigation, said sources in Colombo.

In the meantime, Jaffna traders, whose cargo was destroyed along with the ship, held a one day fast in front of the Jaffna Kachcheri today between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00p.m. demanding that the Sri Lanka Government (SLG) offer compensation to them for the losses they have incurred, said sources in Jaffna. The traders said that this was not the first time they have suffered losses due to SLG actions, the sources added.

The protest fast was organised by individual traders going from house to house and not by the Jaffna Traders Association (JTA). There was insufficient time for the JTA to be formally involved as the association would convene before passing a resolution in favour of the fast.

 

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