Indian fishermen detained by Sri Lanka Navy freed after Finance Minister’s intervention
The Sri Lankan government has released 22 fishermen hailing from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, who were detained on November 18 by the Navy personnel on charges of poaching.
The two seized country boats belonging to the fishermen have also been released, Rayappan, president, the country boat fishermen association, told journalists in Rameswaram on November 19.
According to him, a fishermen’s delegation had met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on November 18 evening and briefed her about the arrest.
She spoke with the External Affairs Secretary in New Delhi and also with the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka seeking their intervention to get the fishermen and their boats freed.
The Sri Lankan government has issued an order releasing all the 22 fishermen and the two country boats, he said. He thanked the Minister for her intervention.
According to the information available, the arrested fishermen were being handed over at the IMBL by the Sri Lankan authorities and were being brought back home. “We are planning to meet the Central Minister with our families,” Mr Rayappan added.
Another fishermen leader P. Jesu Raja appealed to Ms. Sitharaman to get the 118 boats of the fishermen impounded in Sri Lanka since 2018 and secure the release of a fisherman Nambu Murugan, who was sentenced to two years in jail by a court in Sri Lanka.
Ms. Sitharaman is in Rameswaram to participate in the SVANidhi Outreach program, officials said.
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