In bold defiance of LTTE dictates, fleeing terror-reigning Mulathivu on board two fibre glass dinghies (FGDs) in the wee hours at great risk to their lives, 26 Tamil persons belonging to six families sought naval protection yesterday morning (01st April 2008) in the Eastern seas of Sri Lanka.
They had fled the LTTE heartland of Mulathivu in two fibre glass dinghies, one fitted with a 15 Horse Power Out Board Motor (OBM) and the other powered by two OBMs of 9.9 and 15 Horse Power capacity. They were sighted by the Navy off Kallarawa and Pigeon Island in the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka on two separate occasions yesterday morning.
One FGD had 15 persons belonging to three families with nine (09) males and six (06) females on board. They had fled Mulathivu around 2.00 p.m. and were rescued by the Navy off Kallarawa around 7.50 a.m.
The other FGD had 11 persons belonging to three families on board with five (05) male adults, four (04) female adults and two (02) baby children, one aged just seven months and the other aged two and half years. They had fled Mulathivu around 1.00 a.m. and were rescued off Pigeon Island around 9.00 a.m.
Upon sighting the distress calls of the escapees, the naval troops had immediately rushed to their assistance and accompanied them ashore under naval protection. They were provided with food and drink as well as necessary medical treatment and accommodation.
During the preliminary investigations, they have cited the LTTE harassment and the lack of basic needs as their main reason for escaping the tiger terror. They had been heading towards the Eastern Province capital Trincomalee where tranquillity has begun to prevail due to the absence of LTTE terror activities.
All the persons were directed to the Kuchchaweli Police for further action and settlement in the places of their choice.