Lanka will release 23 Indian fishermen soon
Monday, Apr 06: RAMANATHAPURAM: "Sri Lanka will release all the 23 Indian fishermen along with their six boats in the next couple of days," said P.M. Amza, Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner.
The fishermen belonging to Rameswaram were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on Wednesday for entering into its territorial waters. They were lodged in a Mirihana camp in Sri Lanka.
Mr. Amza told Hindu?The here on Sunday that he had taken up the matter with the "highest level" and impressed upon the need for their early release.
It was also decided to withdraw cases filed against them for maritime violations.
"Since they had been remanded by a Sri Lankan court, we have to follow certain procedures and we are working on modalities to meet the judicial requirements," he said.
Asked whether the decision to release the fishermen was prompted by the ongoing indefinite strike by mechanised fishermen of Rameswaram, Mr. Amza said "agitations are the internal maters of India. We are seriously trying to release the fishermen as early as possible in view of the repeated representations made by the Tamil Nadu government and the strong bilateral relationship between Sri Lanka and India."
Asked about the claim made by the fishermen that they were arrested near Katchatheevu, a traditional fishing area, Mr. Amza said the arrest was made after they entered into the high security zone near Mannar, which was banned even for Sri Lankan fishermen.