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    Sri Lankan President orders release of 86 Indian fishermen

    March 12, 2015

    Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday has ordered the release of 86 Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody as a goodwill gesture ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the island.


    A statement from the office of President Sirisena – who is currently in London on a four-day official visit – pointed to a likely reciprocal gesture from India.


    The Sri Lankan Navy on February 26 arrested the Indian fishermen off Mullativu on charges of poaching in Sri Lanka's territorial waters. Ten trawlers in their possession were seized and remain in Sri Lankan custody.


    The issue of Indian trawlers allegedly poaching in Sri Lankan waters figured in the talks between President Sirisena and PM Modi in New Delhi, when the Sri Lankan President visited India last month. Mr. Modi had then emphasised the need for resuming talks between fishermen of both countries.


    Meanwhile, fisher leaders in Sri Lanka’s war-torn Northern Province – whose livelihoods have been badly hit by trawlers poaching in their waters – have sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to present their concerns.

    Last modified on Thursday, 12 March 2015 13:37

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