(PRESS RELEASE) – The Ministry is pleased to announce that the vessel ‘Aris 13’ that was hijacked by pirates was released late last night/ early this morning (16-17 March Sri Lankan time) along with the eight Sri Lankan crew. The crew members were released unharmed, without the payment of a ransom.
The Ministry wishes to express its deep appreciation on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, to the President of Puntland, the semi-autonomous region of Somalia, and his Chief of Staff Abdinasir Sofe, who cooperated and collaborated with the relevant officials of the Government of Sri Lanka in securing the release of the vessel and crew. This task would not have been made possible without their unstinted and active effort.
The Government of Sri Lanka also expresses its gratitude to the Government of the United States of America, the Ambassador of the United States of America in Sri Lanka, the Combined Naval Force in Bahrain, the EU, and all other Governments, Organisations and individuals who extended their assistance in this effort, as well as all local Ministries, Departments, and individuals.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka
17 March 2017