Sri Lanka releases 23 Tamil Nadu fishermen

June 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka today has released the 23 Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on June 20 for illegally fishing in Sri Lankan waters.

Sri Lankan authorities have relocated the Indian fishermen North Central Naval Command in Mannar after their release to facilitate their voyage home to Pamban in Tamil Nadu. The fishermen are expected to leave Thalaimannar Thursday (30) morning and reach their homes on the same day.

Following the protocol, The Sri Lankan Navy will escort the fishermen to the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and hand over to the Indian Coast Guard.

“The fishermen will leave Sri Lanka early on Thursday and are expected to the reach the IMBL by 10 a.m.,” The Hindu quoting Indian Consul General in Jaffna, V. Mahalingam said.

The Sri Lankan Navy arrested the 23 fishermen from Rameswaram and Mandapam when they were fishing in Sri Lankan waters illegally of the Thalaimannar coast. Five boats belonging to the Indian fishermen have also been seized by the authorities.

A magistrate remanded them until July 01 when they were produced in the court. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jeyaram Jayalalitha has written to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking the fishermen’s early release.

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