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* Foreign Ministry taking measures to expedite release of Sri Lankans on board hijacked Saudi vessel
Fri, Mar 5, 2010, 09:11 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 05, Colombo: Following a directive of Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, the Sri Lanka Consulate General in Jeddah has held discussions with senior officials of the shipping company of the Saudi Arabian vessel, MV Al Nasr Al Saudi hijacked by Somali pirates to expedite the release of 13 Sri Lankan crew members on board.

The Foreign Ministry said the shipping company of the vessel has assured the Sri Lanka Consulate General in Jeddah that every effort was being taken to secure the release of the crew members in the hijacked ship, including the 13 Sri Lankans.

The Foreign Ministry said the Consulate General in Jeddah officials had held discussions with the General Manager of the shipping company, who had informed the Consulate officials that the family members of the 13 Sri Lankan crew members, among a crew of 14, had been apprised of the incident through their local representative in Sri Lanka, M/S. Viththy Marine in Colombo.

The Consulate has also informed that when the shipping company had established contacts with the pirates through satellite communication, the pirates had assured the shipping company they would not harm the Sri Lankan crew members.

The Foreign Ministry states that it would continue to monitor the situation and take all necessary measures to expedite the release of the Sri Lankan crew members through the Consular Affairs Division of the Ministry and the Sri Lanka Missions in Saudi Arabia.

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