Ten Lankan fishermen, vessels released
A group of ten Sri Lankan fishermen and their two vessels released
from Indian custody following the intervention of Fisheries and Aquatic
Resources Development Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne will return to Sri
Lanka when they are handed over to Sri Lankan security authorities by
the Indian Coastguard off Kankesanturai on July 5.
They include five fishermen aboard the vessel Piyumali which set off
from the Negombo Fisheries Harbour on April 13 and was arrested by the
Tamil Nadu Coastguard for straying into Indian waters on May 8 and five
fishermen aboard Dhanushka Putha - 2 which set off from Trincomalee
fisheries harbour on April 28 and was arrested in Indian waters off
Tamil Nadu on May 14, states a press release issued by the Fisheries and
Aquatic Resources Development Ministry.
The release said another five fishermen and their vessel Solomon - 2
which had been under Indian custody in Tamil Nadu have also been
released by Indian authorities and arrangements would be made to bring
them back to Sri Lanka once Indian authorities issued orders to send
At present, only 11 fishermen and their vessels Natasha Duwa - 6 and
Kavisha 2 are held by Indian authorities in Andra Pradesh.
The release said the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development
Department had to spend nearly Rs 2.5 to 3 million for the welfare and
airfare of Sri Lankan fishermen arrested in Indian waters by the Indian
Coastguard. This unnecessary expenditure could be saved if Sri Lankan
fishermen desist from straying into Indian waters for fishing and
restricted themselves to the Sri Lankan Maritime Zone as requested by
Miniser Dr Rajitha Senaratne.