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Tamil rebels seize North Korean shi
Subject: Tamil rebels seize North Korean ship
Hong Kong Standard
Tamil rebels seize North Korean ship
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have seized a North Korean cargo
vessel used for ferrying food from the capital Colombo to northern
Jaffna and taken it to their northeastern base, military officials said
They said Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels captured the
vessel and its crew while it was some eight kilometres off Point Pedro
on Jaffna peninsula late on Monday.
An official of Monsell International, the ship's agent in Colombo, told
Reuters that the North Korean ship, named Morang Bong, had a crew of 38
and was on its third trip to Jaffna, the former LTTE stronghold.
``The ship, Morang Bong, is registered in North Korea and had 38 North
Korean crew,'' the official said.
Earlier reports said the ship had a crew of 10.
The official said the ship had carried nearly 3,000 tonnes of food and
other essential items to Jaffna and was hijacked after it had unloaded
A navy spokesman in Colombo confirmed the ship had been captured, but
said further details were awaited.
Other navy officials said the ship was now anchored between Chalai and
Almapil near Mullaitivu on the northeastern coast, which is under rebel
Food and other essential supplies are taken to Jaffna by air or sea as
there is no land route connecting the peninsula with the rest of the
About 20,000 Sri Lankan troops are battling LTTE fighters to open a
highway through the northern rebel-held Wanni region toward Jaffna.
But the offensive, which was launched in May, has slowed down following
fierce counterattacks by the rebels.
The LTTE rebels set fire to a refugee ship off the island's northwestern
coast last week and took away its nine crew, including two Indonesians.
The ship, which was destroyed near northwestern Mannar, had nobody but
the crew on board at the time it was attacked.
The Indonesians were released last Friday. The fate of the remaining
seven crew of MV Missen was not known. _ Reuter
"THERE WILL BE NO REAL DEMOCRACY IF WE CAN'T GURANTEE THE RIGHTS OF THE
MINORITY ETHNIC PEOPLE. ONLY UNDERSTANDING THEIR SUFFERING AND HELPING
THEM TO EXERCISE THEIR RIGHTS WILL ASSIST PREVENTING FROM THE
DISINTEGRATION AND THE SESESSION." "WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THEIR
STRENGTH, WE CAN'T TOPPLE THE SLORC AND BURMA WILL NEVER BE IN PEACE."
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