Sri Lanka frees 34 Indian fishermen days after Sirisena’s visit to New Delhi

fishermenColombo: Thirty-four Indian fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan naval personnel last month for allegedly entering their country’s waters, were today released by two separate Lankan courts.

As many as 34 Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody will be released, fisheries minister Mahinda Amaraweera said, adding that India will also release Sri Lankan fishermen.

While 13 fishermen, arrested on April 15, were set free by the Oorkavalthurai Court, the others, detained on April 21, were ordered to be released by a court in Mannar.

The court order came close on the heels of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to India on May 13 during which he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed among other issues the problems faced by Indian fishermen.

It was reported after the meeting that both sides sought a permanent solution to the issue of frequent arrests of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy and India reiterated the need to build a dedicated mechanism for it.