Tamil Diplomat

Indian fishermen will be released for Thai Pongal, not trawlers: Amaraweera

Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera has stated that all Indian fishermen currently in Sri Lanka’s custody for fishing in Sri Lankan waters will be released on December 15 to enable them to celebrate Thai Pongal as a gesture of goodwill.

But he reiterated that their trawlers and fishing gears will not be released as a policy decision to discourage such recurrences. He was speaking to Sri Lankan media. He explained that the Sri Lankan government has no interest in keeping the Indian fishermen in prison but want to discourage them intruding into Sri Lankan waters. It has become a menace. He added that he boats, mainly trawlers, and the fishing gear belonging to the Indian fishermen will not be released as a matter of policy decision.

“We have made this policy decision not to release their boats and other fishing gear, mainly to discourage them intruding into our waters and destroying our marine resources,” he stressed.