Colombo, March 16 (NIA) – Sri Lanka on Thursday said that local crew members who were on board a vessel hijacked by Somali pirates docked in the Port town of Alula, were safe.
Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera told reporters in capital Colombo that Sri Lanka was in touch with all the necessary centers and were keeping a close watch on the situation.
“We have alerted all the necessary centers and we are keeping a close watch and these hostages are safe and in good health,” Samaraweera said.
He added that the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Ethiopia was working very closely with the Somalian government and Sri Lanka had been informed that it was a piracy situation.
Gunmen believed to be Somali pirates hijacked the small oil tanker ‘Aris 13’ on Monday and are demanding a ransom to release the ship and its eight Sri Lankan crew, said the EU Naval Force that patrols the waters off Somalia.
It is the first ship to be seized since 2012.
The 1,800 deadweight ton Aris 13 is owned by Panama company Armi Shipping and managed by Aurora Ship Management in the United Arab Emirates, according to the Equasis shipping data website, managed by the French transport ministry.