Sri Lanka Stops Aids Despite Confirming No Dangerous Intentions
Sri Lankan authorities Monday ordered a foreign-owned ship carrying aid for Tamil civilians to leave the island without unloading its cargo.
This order was given despite accepting there was no ill-intention.
Sri Lanka's defense ministry had initially described the Captain Ali as an Tamil Tiger vessel but the BBC reported that Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa confirmed in a Sunday newspaper interview that the ship "did not have any dangerous intentions."
Sri Lankan autorities claimed that they were not informed and that ship entered illegally.
"The ship had tried to enter Sri Lankan waters without following the proper procedure," an official told news agencies.
Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona had told the Daily Mirror newspaper that the government had not been informed of any such vessel coming here except through media reports were floating around that a vessel carrying aid was heading to Sri Lanka from Britain.
"The government knows nothing about this because we have not been informed. No one has contacted us to acquire visas or permission to enter our waters," Kohona had said.
Mercy Mission (UK) looked forward to overcome any paper work errors and ensure that the emergency humanitarian relief reaches the much needed IDPs.
Mercy Mission (UK) understands that the Sri Lanka Navy allege that the MV Captain Ali is not in compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. If this is the case and the non-Mercy Mission persons responsible for this compliance did not fulfil their responsibilities and handle these matters in the appropriate, professional manner, Mercy Mission (UK) apologizes, the statement said.
Mercy Mission (UK) implores the Government of Sri Lanka to engage with the Mercy Mission in order to overcome any paperwork errors and ensure that the emergency humanitarian relief (food & medicine) donated by the Tamil Diaspora are delivered to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the camps.
The Mercy Mission (UK) further insists Sri Lankan authorities were informed.
But, Mercy Mission (UK) wishes to categorically state that the Government of Sri Lanka and the President of Sri Lanka have been notified of the Mercy Mission ship and the project to assist the 300,000 internally displaced persons living in the camps in the North on a number of occasions…
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