Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Twelfth anniversary of Malta boat tragedy commemorated

A commemoration meeting to remember those who died in the Malta boat tragedy where 289 persons including 70 Sri Lankans drowned in the Malta-Sicily channel in 1996, will take place at the Bambalapitiya Hindu Ladies College Hall tomorrow at 11 am. 300 candles will be lit and a video film will also be shown at the meeting.
An Indian delegation comprising of Balwant Singh Khera, Chairman Malta Boat Tragedy Probe Mission, two other office bearers, Gurvinda Singh and Kuldeep Singh met Social Services Minister Douglas Devananda, at his office on Sunday.
Malta Boat Tragedy Probe Mission (Sri Lanka Chapter), Chairman, M.K.P. Chandralal also participated at this meeting.
Mr. Kehera briefed the Minister on the human tragedy which occurred in Malta-Sicily Channel on December 25, 1996. Out of 565 young men on board the ship Yiohan, around 289 persons including 170 Indians, 70 Sri Lankans, 33 Pakistanis and rest from other South Asian countries were drowned.
He also said that an Italian court has sentenced the captain of the Yiohan ship to 30 year-imprisonment for multiple murder.
With the efforts of Italian senator Tana de Zulueta, the Italian Government has provided funds to recover the remains of the victims and the ship and set up a monument there. The delegation requested the Minister
01. To take up this case with the International Agencies at the UNO and other associated Governments.
02. Release status report regarding this episode and investigation done so far by the Sri Lankan government to the public at large and especially to the concerned parents.
03. Charge local agents and conspirators involved in this episode and debar them from continuing such nefarious activities.
04. Release a list of the dead victims and issue with death certificates to them and give substantial relief to the affected parents.
05. Co-ordinate with the Indian, Pakistan and Italian government and the Malta Boat Tragedy Probe Mission in this connection. All family members and well wishers are welcome to attend this meeting. Further details could be obtained from the organizers, on - 0714020845

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