INDIAN CREW RELEASED (98 Aug 19)
The LTTE on Tuesday the eighteenth released the 18 Indians in the crew of the ship MV "Princess Kash", which was hijacked on Wednesday the 12th.The third merchant ship that was hijacked by the LTTE was destroyed in an air strike on Thursday the thirteenth by the Sri Lankan Air Force. "Princess Kash" was carrying goods to Yapanaya from Kolomba.
The ship had to be destroyed as it was sailing within 14 nautical miles from the coast after repeated reminders by the Sri Lankan Navy that the ship has to be at least 50 nautical miles off the coast. The captain of the vessel failed to comply with the instructions and after giving a warning the ship was destroyed.
The crew was taken to an unknown place by the LTTE and later on Tuesday the Indian members were released to the International Red Cross which brought them to Kolomba. However the three Sinhala members in the crew have not been released.
Sixteen of the Indians were flown to India today (Wednesday the 19th). The Captain and another person have not been allowed to leave the country by the Sri Lankan Air Force. There is suspicion that the Captain connived with the LTTE.
In the meantime the deputy leader of PLOTE has said that the government should pay compensation to the businessmen whose goods were destroyed in the attack. The businessmen in Yapanaya closed their shops on Wednesday the 19th demanding compensation.
If the LTTE captured the ship these businessmen would not have got their goods and they would not have asked the LTTE to pay them compensation. The government may under pressure from the Tamil racist parties decide to pay compensation finally, but the Minister of Trade should ask the businessman to get their compensation from the LTTE.