By PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today, 4 Oct 2010
THE body of the deceased Sri Lankan Captain, who was reportedly killed in international waters on board his vessel while moving towards Sharjah shore, is expected to be released within a couple of days, said officials at Sri Lankan mission in Dubai.
Wasantha Senanayake, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Dubai, told The Gulf Today that the reason for the death of the victim, who was the captain of the merchant vessel Ocean Trite, was not yet confirmed.
According to Sri Lankan media, Captain Sunil Dharmaratne was killed in waters off the UAE, when pirates boarded the Ocean Trite and opened fire.
“The body has been brought to a hospital in Sharjah. The 54-year-old Dharmaratne, a resident of Boralasgamuwa in Sri Lanka, had been working as the captain of the vessel for four years,” reported Colombo Today.
It said, “The Ocean Trite, a commercial ship registered in the UAE, was sailing along the UAE–Iran maritime border when the incident occurred.”
Senanayake added, “The Sharjah Police is investigating the case, and we are waiting for the full report in order to repatriate his remains to Sri Lanka immediately after the body is released after conducting an autopsy on it.”
“The incident happened on Sept.26, when the deceased captain was sailing to the UAE shore. The ship had a total of ten people, including the captain, seven other Sri Lankan nationals and two Indians,” confirmed Senanayake.
“The captain died due to internal bleeding, the reason for which has to be conformed by the police, who are interrogating the other nine people who remained in the vessel,” he said.
“More details about the death of the captain, like whether he was murdered by pirates or the incident happened in the UAE waters, have to be detected yet,” pointed out the chief of Sri Lankan mission.
Dharmaratne was a retired naval officer and a well experienced captain of merchant vessels.