Two Sri Lankan crew members of pirated ship ‘MV Albedo’ repatriated home
Saturday, 14 June 2014 00:35
The Ministry of External Affairs in coordination with the Sri Lanka High Commission in Nairobi has arranged the repatriation of two Sri Lankan seamen, S.M.M. Bisthamy and S.D.A.N. Perera, employed on MV Albedo, a Malaysian cargo vessel, which was hijacked by Somali pirates in late November 2010 with 23 crew members on board, including six Sri Lankans.
Due to unusual weather conditions, the ship sank on 8 June 2013 and as a result, four Sri Lankan crew members had been reported missing, and are presumed dead. The two surviving crew members, Bisthamy and Perera arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday on a flight from Nairobi via Doha. On the instructions of the Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, the Sri Lanka High Commissions in Nairobi and Kuala Lumpur liaised with the Foreign Ministries of the respective countries and the UN Hostage Release and Repatriation Office to secure the early release of the Sri Lankan seamen, while keeping their families briefed of developments regularly. The two Sri Lankan crew members who had been released were handed over to the Sri Lanka High Commission in Nairobi recently by the UN authorities. The Consular Affairs Division of this Ministry with the assistance of the Sri Lanka High Commission in Nairobi and the International Organization of Migration (IOM) made arrangements to facilitate their repatriation to Sri Lanka.
The Ministry of External Affairs along with the Ministry of Ports and Highways have advised Sri Lankan seafarers to be cautious on taking the sea route close to Somalia due to the continuous acts of piracy by Somali armed groups. The Ministry of External Affairs appreciates the efforts taken by the UN authorities in securing the release of Sri Lankan seamen.