Sunday, 23 March 2014 - 13:10
Government says no more Indian fishermen can be released
Sri Lanka has stated that no Indian fishermen arrested for poaching will be released on humanitarian grounds until proper talks are held either with Tamil Nadu officials or with Indian central government officials.
The Government’s decision came as Tuesday’s proposed talks in Colombo on the fisheries crisis hung in the balance after Tamil Nadu demanded the release of more Indian fishermen who are being held in custody here.
The Government had rejected a demand from the Tamil Nadu state government to refrain from arresting Tamil Nadu fishermen poaching in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters.
Early this week Sri Lanka hurriedly released 116 Indian fishermen expecting that the talks between Indian and Sri Lankan fisheries officials and representatives of fishermen’s organisations would go ahead on Tuesday.
But two days after the release, the Sri Lanka Navy took into custody 18 more boats and arrested 76 Indian fishermen off the northern coast.
Director General of the Fisheries Department Nimal Hettiarachchi stated that they expect that discussions will be held as planned.