Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government will soon repatriate three Sri Lankan fishermen who were rescued by Indonesian fishermen after being stranded in the Indian Ocean.

"We will repatriate them soon after their emergency passports are issued," said Kharisma Rukmana, the immigration check sub-section head of the North Jakarta Immigration Office, on Friday.

The repatriation will take place from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Banten.

While the issuance of emergency passports is expected to take one to seven days, Rukmana expressed optimism that it will not take long since the Sri Lankan embassy is committed to expediting the process.

"Because it is an accident, the handling should be prompt. Once it has been cleared, the emergency travel document will be issued immediately," he explained.

Earlier on Friday, the Marine and Fisheries Ministry, along with the Foreign Affairs Ministry's Directorate General of Protocol and Consular Service and the Law and Human Rights Ministry's Directorate General of Immigration, handed over the three fishermen to their envoy.

The three fishermen, identified as Ithayarsan Chanturu, Anton Nevilstan, and Alekkish Ajid Gihan Coors, arrived safely at Jakarta's Nizam Zachman Oceanic Fishery Port on Thursday (June 29, 2023).

They were rescued by the crew of the Indonesian motor boat KM Cahaya Putra Lestari in the Indian Ocean on June 18 after their boat's cooling machine generator was damaged, leaving them stranded.

Mochammad Idnillah, the Director of Boat and Fishing Gear at the Marine and Fisheries Ministry, stated that the three Sri Lankan fishermen also suffered due to bad weather in the Indian Ocean.

"They drifted away after a storm in the high seas because they were using a small boat," Idnillah said.

Captain (Navy) Chaminda Karunasena, the Defense Attaché at the Sri Lankan Embassy, expressed gratitude to the Indonesian government for assisting in the repatriation.

"We thank the government of the Republic of Indonesia for providing their facilities for the repatriation," he said.

Karunasena also praised the humanity and friendship of the Indonesian people in rescuing the Sri Lankan fishermen who were lost at sea and in need of assistance.

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Translator: Abdu Faisal, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Anton Santoso
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