Sri Lanka seeks to rescue stranded nationals in Libya

Feb 24, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is seeking rescue by ship nationals stranded in Libya from where foreigners and migrant workers are fleeing the violence triggered by a public uprising against the government, a spokesman said. “We have despatched a ship,” media minister Keheliya Rambukwella told a news conference.

AFP news agency reported that 36 Sri Lankans were among thousands of evacuees who began landing Thursday at the port of Heraklion on the Greek island of Crete after their evacuation from Libya aboard chartered Greek ferries.

The ferries were carrying some 4,000 Chinese along with 38 evacuees from Thailand, 36 from Sri Lanka, 35 from Italy, 15 from Romania and 46 Greeks, police on Crete said.

Sri Lankan government officials said they were trying to send a ship to Malta, the closest port to Libya, to evacuate stranded Sri Lankans.

They were also planning alternative arrangements to bring back hundreds of migrant Sri Lankans workers reaching Egypt by road from Libya.