Sri Lanka turns back Tamil aid ship

Published on Google.com/AFP, June 8, 2009.

COLOMBO (AFP) — Sri Lankan authorities Monday ordered a foreign-owned ship carrying aid for Tamil civilians to leave the island without unloading its cargo. The Syrian-registered ship, Captain Ali, was seized last week, and the Sri Lankan defence ministry said the cargo of food and other supplies had been destined for the now defeated Tamil Tiger rebels.

“The ship had tried to enter Sri Lankan waters without following the proper procedure,” an official said, but added that a search of the vessel confirmed it was not carrying any arms or ammunition. The organisers of the mission, Mercy Mission to Wanni, said on their website that the goods were meant for Tamil civilians caught up in the decades-long conflict … (full text).  

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