Owners demand protection to cargo vessels

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 February 2007, 02:26 GMT]
The owners of cargo ships leased to the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to transport of essential food items from Trincomalee harbour to Point Pedro have requested Commissioner of Essential Services assurance of protection by security forces, sources said. Safety of vessels in northern water has become a contentious issue after the attack on “City of Liverpool" at Point Pedro Harbour on 21 January.

The Commissioner has not provided the assurance yet, giving rise to speculation that Point Pedro may not be used for future unloading of cargo, sources said.

Meanwhile, the damaged ship towed to Myllidy, near Kankesanturai (KKS ), has been lying idle for the past two weeks as efforts to move the ship closer to the unloading dock, were unsuccessful. On Saturday, another ship was moved parallel to the damaged ship so that unloading of cargo could start.

Ships unload cargo destined to the Security Forces at the KKS harbor while essential items to the public are loaded in Myliddy. The lack of facilities in Myliddy harbour has reduced the rate of unloading by 50%, impacting food deliveries to peninsula residents, civil sources said.

Meanwhile, damaged "City of Liverpool" remains immobile with the prospect for its sea-worthiness uncertain.


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