Sri Lanka coastguard rescued 30 Rohingya refugees with an Indian vessel which entered Sri Lanka water territorial on April 30, according to Sri Lanka Navy.
Navy Spokesman Lieutenant Commander Chaminda Walakuluge told reporters that there were 30 Myanmar nationals and 2 Indians in the vessel.
The Sri Lanka Navy rescued 30 Myanmar nationals – sixteen children, all below the age of nine year, including a 15-day-old and four-month old infant, including seven men, seven women and 16 children, besides the two Indian crew, the Navy spokesman said.
The Navy Spokesman added that the detainees were given first aid soon after they were brought ashore – Kankesanthurai.
It appeared that the passengers had left India, where they had lived for about four years as refugees. They were handed over to local authorities to decide further action, the Navy spokesman said.
“It was revealed during the preliminary investigations that these Myanmar nationals are identified as Rohingya refugees and they have sought asylum in India due to the ethnic conflicts that prevailed in the country.”
“They were granted refugee status in India four years ago and it was due to expire in June this year. It is said, this can be the reason behind the illegal fleeing of these refugees to another destination.”
The boat operated by two Indians had entered Sri Lanka’s northern waters after crossing the sea border, and the Coast Guard informed the Navy about the illegal boat around 10 am on April 30 which was 12 nautical miles off the KKS coast.
The illegal migrants and the boat were handed over to the KKS Police after been brought to the KKS port.
Kankesanthurai Police took the rescued illegal immigrants to Mallakam Magistrate Courts on April 30 and were remanded till 2nd May (Tomorrow) and are to be produced before the Jaffna Magistrate.