Sri Lanka has ruled out early repatriation of over 100 Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by it recently for allegedly crossing into Sri Lankan territorial waters.
In an interview Minister for External Affairs G.L Peiris said Some of them have been in custody for over two months and would have to undergo the judicial process though the intention is not to deprive them of their liberty for long.
He also reiterated India’s transfer of Kachchatheevu Island to Sri Lanka was a settled matter and cannot be reopened.
The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister said that till some time back, Indian fishermen who entered Sri Lankan waters were released quickly.
But as this step was not dissuasive enough, Sri Lanka planned to prosecute the current lot of arrested fishermen so that they would not venture into its waters again.