Sea pirates kill Lankan captain
The Lankan captain of the oil tanker Ocean Trite, Sunil Dharmaratne
had allegedly been stabbed and then shot dead when he fought with the
sea pirates who were after valuables on board, shipping sources told
Sunday Observer yesterday.
An External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said the details as to how
he got killed could not be confirmed pending investigations by Sharjah
law enforcing authorities.
"Our Consul General in Dubai was to travel to Sharjah on Friday to
take over the Captain's body and get an update on the progress of the
investigations but since it was a holiday there he may have been held
up," the spokesperson said.The shipping sources said the pirates who had
got into the slow moving tanker in the dead of the night had first
sprayed crew unconscious before storming into the Captain's Cabin
demanding cash and valuables.
The incident had taken place in UAE - Iran Maritime Boarder last
Dharmaratne who was a retired Naval officer had been a well
experienced captain of merchant vessels. He had refused to give into the
men's demands and in an attempt of self defence had attacked one of the
pirates, allegedly a Persian man, with a knife.
This action had infuriated the pirates who in turn stabbed and then
shot the captain on his leg. He had not survived the injuries till the
ship reached Port.
The sources said the men who attacked Ocean Trite were maritime
looters who are after cash and valuables. There had not been an attempt
to hijack the ship for ransom taking which is the usual practice of
fierce Somalian sea pirates.