ITF to take Wallen-Lanka to court

The International Transportworkers’ Federation (ITF) is to seek legal action against an international shipping company, after its local agent was alleged to be slow in cooperating with the case involving the alleged assault of a Lankan female sailor by the Pakistani captain on a Liberian-flagged ship on October 30.

ITF Inspector Ranjan Perera said that Wallen-Lanka, the local agent for the shipping company, was not cooperating in this matter, and hence, court intervention will be sought to expedite action.
They said that, on legal advice, they would seek an arrest warrant from the High Court to detain any vessel belonging to the Hong-Kong based company, Wallen Shipping International.

“The ITF has a mandate to take such action in Sri Lanka or anywhere else in the world, since the assault of the Sri Lankan officer is a serious matter and will be treated as such”, Mr. Perera added.
The victim, Second Officer Bhanu Lakshanthi was allegedly brutally assaulted by the Pakistani captain while on voyage from Indonesia to Australia, and is still in need of medical attention for a damaged jaw.

Director- Wallen Lanka, Hemantha Devapriya refused to comment on the matter, other than to add that the Company had provided the fullest medical assistance to the victim.

The suspect, Captain Liaquat Chowdhury, who was later arrested by the Australian authorities and released on cash bail of AUD 6,000, was ordered to appear in court in March next year.According to reports from Australia, this same Captain is also alleged to have been involved in two similar cases earlier as well.

Meanwhile, the victim has submitted a written complaint, detailing the alleged assault, to the External Affairs Ministry, for necessary action.

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