Sri Lanka, India resume ferry links after 30 years

12:46, June 14, 2011      

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Sri Lanka and India resumed passenger services by ferry after more than 30 years with the arrival of a ferry from India's Tuticorin to the Colombo port Tuesday, officials said.

A Sri Lankan navy spokesman told Xinhua that Scotia Prince from Tuticorin reached the Colombo Port carrying nearly 200 passengers including VIP guests after a 280 mile voyage.

Prior to the arrival of the ferry, the passenger terminal at the Colombo port was also re-opened after being closed owing to Sri Lanka's conflict with Tamil Tiger rebels.

The Sri Lankan government said the resumption of the ferry service with India will improve cultural tourism and business relations between the two countries.

The ferry service between India and Sri Lanka was suspended in 1980 after a civil war broke out between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan military.

A bitter conflict in Sri Lanka came to an end in May 2009 with the Sri Lankan military defeating the Tamil Tigers.

During the conflict India and Sri Lanka intensified its sea and air patrols along the sea border between the two countries as the Tamil Tigers, who had a sophisticated naval wing, posed a threat to fishermen and other vessels which traveled along the route.

Source: Xinhua
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