The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development last week announced that there were no Sri Lankan fishermen detained in India.
Sri Lanka had decided to release 104 Tamil Nadu fishermen as a goodwill gesture ahead of the Thai Pongal festival celebrated by Tamils the world over.
Secretary to the Ministry, W.M.M.R. Adikari told Nation that the fishermen would be released in batches. Accordingly, 55 of the fishermen were released last Friday (15).
“Even though there are no Lankan fishermen detained in India, in our letter of recommendation to release the fishermen, we have requested the Indian authorities to release them in the event they are arrested,” she said.
Earlier, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development, Mahinda Amaraweera stated that only the fishermen would be released while their boats and equipment would be retained.