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>3 Bangladeshi citizens among 20 dead boat people near SL

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>THREE Bangladeshi and 17 Myanmar nationals died of starvation or dehydration when their wooden boat drifted in Sri Lankan seas for 12 days, Bloomberg today reported quoting a a navy spokesman. (Read article)
Fishermen reported the boat, with 71 survivors on board, about 150 nautical miles (280 kilometres) northeast of Sri Lanka yesterday, D.K.P. Dassanayake said in a telephone interview from Colombo.
“According to the survivors they ran out of food and water. They have thrown the bodies overboard. The navy has not recovered any bodies,” he said.

The boat was towed to the northeastern port of Trincomalee where authorities decided the people were “illegal foreign job seekers,” the navy said in a statement.
The vessel left Cox’s Bazaar near the border between Myanmar and Bangladeshi on February 9. There were 67 people from Myanmar and 24 from Bangladesh on board.
“They were heading for Thailand and Malaysia for lucrative employment,” the navy said. The boat’s engine failed on February 20 and it began to drift.
Sri Lanka has provided food and medicines to the survivors, according to the statement.


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