Tamil Diplomat

Fishermen issue: Sri Lanka responds positively to India’s request

The Indian Government has requested the Fisheries Ministry to release 86 Indian fishermen in view of the Deepavali festival which falls on November 10th.

However the Hindu newspaper quoted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha Jeyaram as saying that the 86 fishermen would be freed next Wednesday.

A  senior officer of the fisheries ministry told media that the government has consented to respond positively to the request by the Indian government.

He also said that the 86 Indian fishermen would be freed on the condition that seven Sri Lankan fishermen, currently in the custody of Indian authorities, are freed.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Mahinda Amaraweera said the government will release the poaching Indian fishermen but will confiscate their boats and fishing equipments.

He said that most of the boats entering Sri Lankan waters are owned by Tamil Nadu politicians.Amaraweera, who was addressing an event in Batticaloa, said the Tamil Nadu politicians are using the fishermen issue to their political advantages.