China's Xinhua state news agency reports that China has called on Sri Lanka to release 37 Chinese fishermen detained by the Sri Lankan navy, in a case that could test increasingly close ties between Beijing and Colombo.
Sri Lanka's navy arrested the fishermen on Sunday night. They were aboard two trawlers off the Sri Lankan east coast town of Batticaloa.
Xinhua notes that the Chinese embassy has urged Sri Lankan authorities to handle the issue in accordance with the law, sort out the truth and release the Chinese fishermen as soon as possible.
Its is also reported that two Sri Lankan’s were aboard the two vessels during the time of arrest, while the crew of both crafts have been escorted to the China Harbour for further interrogation.