Sri Lanka urgently calls on combined Maritime Forces to investigate hijacked vessel

Sri Lanka has urgently requested the intervention of the Combined Maritime Forces to investigate the hijacking of a vessel by Somali pirates, seeking swift action to address the maritime crisis.

A Sri Lankan fishing vessel, the “Lorenzo Putha 4,” was attacked by Somali pirates in international waters near the Seychelles, prompting Sri Lanka’s maritime authorities to take immediate action. The Sri Lanka Navy has notified the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in Bahrain, a multinational naval partnership dedicated to maritime security, urging them to conduct an immediate investigation into the hijacking.

Naval Spokesman Captain Gayan Wickramasuriya confirmed the notification to CMF and revealed that countries possessing advanced naval technology are also being briefed on the unfolding situation. The collaboration with CMF underscores the gravity of the incident and the necessity for a swift, coordinated response to address the maritime crisis.

The Department of Fisheries has confirmed the loss of communication with the hijacked fishing vessel, adding a layer of complexity to the evolving situation. Director General Susantha Kahawatta expressed that the abducted crew, currently held on the Lorenzo Putha 4, has not made any contact with Sri Lankan officials, and the pirates have not conveyed any demands to the government.

As the situation continues to evolve, the collaborative efforts with CMF and other nations with advanced naval capabilities are crucial in formulating a comprehensive response plan. The hijacking underscores the persistent threat of piracy in international waters, emphasizing the need for enhanced maritime security measures and coordinated international cooperation to safeguard seafarers and vessels navigating these crucial sea routes.

The Sri Lanka Navy, in tandem with relevant authorities, is expected to explore diplomatic channels and strategic negotiations to ascertain the condition of the crew and facilitate their safe return. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the challenges posed by piracy and the imperative for a united global front to counteract such threats to maritime security.

The safety and well-being of the abducted fishermen remain paramount, and the international community’s close monitoring of developments is essential in addressing the broader implications of piracy and ensuring the integrity of vital sea routes. As Sri Lanka navigates this maritime crisis, a concerted effort is required to fortify maritime security and uphold the principles of safe and secure navigation in international waters.