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Caritas says pirates still have fisherman

Efforts are being made to locate them and secure their release

Trawler fishing boat at Mirissa harbor in Sri Lanka Trawler fishing boat at Mirissa harbor in Sri Lanka
  • ucanews.com reporter, Colombo
  • Sri Lanka
  • March 24, 2011
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Two Sri Lankan fishermen remain in the hands of Somali pirates and steps are being taken to ascertain their whereabouts and secure their release, Caritas says.

Caritas Sri Lanka is in contact with Somali officials to find out more about the two fishermen, according to one of its officials.

Media reports in January said two fishermen from a group of 12 captured in November were shot dead.

The other 10 fishermen were released earlier this month.

“We are proceeding with caution and handling matters in a diplomatic way,” said S.P.Anthonimuthu.

According to information received from Somalia, there are two Sri Lankan fishermen among 700 sailors still being held by pirates, he said.

Caritas says it is in contact with Roman Catholic Bishop Giorgio Bertin of Djibouti who is the Vatican's apostolic administrator for Mogadishu in neighboring Somalia, and is urging the church officials to try and locate them and press for their release.

At the moment Caritas Sri Lanka still needs to learn their whereabouts to initiate efforts for their safe release.

Anthonimuthu said Caritas is consulting with the Fisheries Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry, and the Indian High Commission in Colombo with regard to the matter.

SR13744.1646
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