Hundred and twenty-six Indian fishermen, arrested by Sri Lankan navy for allegedly poaching in the island’s waters, were freed today through courts in the North.
Both Sri Lanka and India today completed the formalities for the release of Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen detained in each other’s country for allegedly fishing in each other’s waters.
Sri Lankan government had decided to release all Indian fishermen before Diwali as a goodwill gesture. The fishermen had been lodged in various prisons in the country.
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that Sri Lanka took measures to release the 126 Indian fishermen arrested by the country’s Navy for poaching in Sri Lankan waters as a humanitarian gesture.
However, the Minister added that Sri Lanka will continue to hold the boats and equipment of the Indian fishermen arrested for allegedly poaching.
The Sri Lankan minister said the talks held between the two fishing communities had not been successful.
“Our fishing organizations have told me that talks would be of no use. Organization representatives are unable to take any decisions, he told PTI.
He said the talks were not successful because the representatives from the Indian side are not fishermen “Because it is the Tamil Nadu politicians who own these boats,” he said