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After hiccups, relief ship reaches Lanka

[Express Buzz, Thursday, 9 July 2009 05:39 No Comment]

MV Cap Colorado, the ship carrying 27 containers of relief material for internally displaced Sri Lankan Tamils, ran into rough weather as the Lankan Navy surrounded the ship and prevented it from reaching the Colombo port through Wednesday.

Late in the evening, bowing to pressure from different quarters, including the Red Cross which is consignee of the relief goods, the Lankan authorities permitted the container vessel to berth at Colombo.

Earlier, MV Captain Ali, also known as Vanangaa Mann, which was carrying most of the same cargo meant for internally displaced Tamils living in different government-run camps in Northern areas was turned away, leading to its berthing at Chennai recently.

According to Subramanian of Sea Consortium, the vessel operator for Colorado, the ship was stopped when it was entering the Sri Lankan waters.

“They also ordered the ship to be anchored in deep sea since the Lankan government was not sure about accepting the particular cargo (relief materials for IDPs)on the ground that it was rejected material,” he told Express.

The vessel operator immediately contacted the consignee (The Red Cross) for their help since the vessel also carrying more than 800 commercial containers primarily meant for customers in Europe and any delay in meeting the delivery deadline would incur severe loss of crores of rupees.

Besides pressure from different quarters, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Lankan authorities finally gave in. The vessel is now expected to berth on Thursday and the containers loaded with relief materials for IDPS would be handed over to Lankan Red Cross officials by Friday.

Meanwhile, a statement from Vanni Mission headquarters in UK termed the act as against the contravention of the agreement made between India and Lanka on June 24.

[Full Coverage]

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