Thirty (30) Sri Lankan fishermen released by the Tamil Nadu State authorities were repatriated to Sri Lanka today (23) enabling reunion with their families in time to celebrate Christmas. The Sri Lanka fishermen boarded SLNS Ranagaja at the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and arrive at the Kankasanturai harbour this evening.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his discussions in Kathmandu on the sidelines of the 18th SAARC Summit in November 2014, requested Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to facilitate the release of the Sri Lankan fishermen in custody in the States of Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh.
The release of fishermen reflects the keen desire of the two governments to continue consultation for expeditious action on the respective fishermen in custody, with a view to addressing this issue on a humanitarian basis. It also demonstrates the goodwill and understanding which exists bilaterally in addressing issues relating to fishermen of the two countries, and a manifestation of the warm and abiding relationship.
Sri Lanka authorities repatriated 66 Indian fishermen released from custody following their detention for poaching in Sri Lankan waters.