Sri Lanka to release 54 Indian fishermen today

Indian fishermen arrested

The Sri Lankan government will release 54 Indian fishermen on Tuesday, who were apprehended by the Lankan Navy on March 21.

The Lankan Navy arrested the 54 fishermen for allegedly fishing in island’s waters off the coast of Kankesanturai and Talaimannar in the north.

The release comes on day when both the India and Sri Lanka will hold third round of bilateral talks in a bid to sort the row over fishing in Palk Strait.

Few days ago, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had made a controversial remark claiming the right to shoot down intruding Indian fishermen.

Fishing in the Palk Strait has been a contentious issue with Indian fishermen either being fired upon or arrested by the Lankan Navy, even as the issue has emotional overtones in Tamil Nadu.

Sri Lankan fishermen say the Indian fishermen trespassing into the Sri Lankan waters and using destructive fishing practices is not acceptable.

However, Indian fishermen and the Tamil Nadu government are of the view that the waters around Katchatheevu Island and in Palk Bay are their “traditional fishing grounds” that the Sri Lankan fishermen should share.

The talks are being held after Wickremesinghe had said that “If someone tries to break into my house, I can shoot. If he gets killed…Law allows me to do that,” drawing sharp responses from political parties in the state.

(Zee News)