Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pirates in the News: Tuvalu!

For those of you who have only heard of Tuvalu from Survivor, Tuvalu is a small island nation in the South Pacific, well several islands, just look at the map.

Well, Tuvalu is feeling the pirate menace of Somalia. I know, I thought it would be news about "NOT Somalia" too, but c'est la vie.

Eleven sailors from Tuvalu and one from Fiji were kidnapped two months ago and very little has been heard from them since.

The pirates are demanding a ransom of $US15 million - the kind of money a tiny island nation like Tuvalu does not have a hope of raising...

...About 40 per cent of Tuvaluan men work at sea, mainly for German shipping companies.

Reverend Iosefa says the entire population is now very scared.

"Eleven men in a population of around about 10,000 people is a lot," he said.

"And 11 men to us is one of the biggest resources for the family.

Tuvalu is not only a tiny country, it is also one of the world's poorest...

Tuvaluan community leaders have pleaded for more assistance from their neighbours, Australia and New Zealand...

...One rescue attempt has already failed. Last month the German Government sent in its elite combat force to storm the ship, but they abandoned the mission at the last moment after fears from America that it would all end in a bloodbath.

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