Sri Lanka orders release of fishing boats ahead of President Sirisena’s visit to India

Indian fishermen arrested

RAMESWARAM: The Tamil Nadu fishermen breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday evening when they received news that the Sri Lankan government has ordered the release of all the Indian fishing boats.

The decision to release the boats comes a few days before Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s begins his four-day visit to India.

T Sadasivam, director of the National Fisheries Federation in Sri Lanka, told TOI over phone that the government had ordered the release of the boats and concerned courts would receive the orders on Thursday.

“The boats will be released on Thursday,” he said.

U Arulanandam of the Alliance for Release of Innocent Fishermen also confirmed that he has received information about the release. “Once the courts order the release of boats, our fishermen will form salvage teams to visit the country and repatriate their boats”, he said.

Starting from June last when the 45 days fishing ban ended, the Sri Lankan navy apprehended as many as 87 trawlers from Pudukottai, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu and from Karaikal in the Union territory of Puducherry.

At present there are 84 boats moored at various fishing jetties — 15 in Talaimannar, 25 in Karainagar, 40 boats in Kangesanthurai and four boats in Kytes Island. One boat is stranded at Neduntheevu after running aground while two boats sank.

(Times of India)