UAE-based vessel's hijack drama: Somali pirates free Lankan seaman after one year

(SUPPLIED)

A Sri Lankan seaman who was on the vessel “MV Orana” owned by an Ajman-based shipping company, Kassab Inter Shipping LLC, which was hijacked by Somali pirates on December 2, 2010 with 20 crew members on board, has been freed, the External Affairs Ministry said on Friday.

The Ministry of External Affairs, through the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai and the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Nairobi, was in constant contact with the owner of the vessel with a view of securing the release of K.A.S. Soorasena while keeping his family briefed about the developments on a regular basis.
 
The External Affairs Ministry said that during a recent visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Dubai to attend the World Energy Forum, the Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris urged the shipping company to make early arrangements to secure the release of Soorasena and also had requested the UAE authorities to expedite the process.
 
The External Affairs Ministry said that it is now confirmed that Soorasena has been released and handed over to the Sri Lanka High Commission in Nairobi, which is making arrangements for his immediate repatriation to Sri Lanka.
 
Accordingly, Soorasena is scheduled to arrive in Colombo via Dubai shortly.
 
The Ministry of External Affairs along with the Ministry of Ports and Highways had already 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.

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