The Sri Lankan authorities have decided to set free 34 fishermen of Tamil Nadu who have been kept in Jaffna and Vavuniya jails.
While 13 fishermen were produced a magistrate in Jaffna on Monday evening, the remaining 21 would be presented before a court in Mannar on Tuesday.
Once all the 34 persons were handed over to the Indian Consulate General in Jaffna, the Navies of India and Sri Lanka would decide the modalities on the return of the fishermen to Tamil Nadu, according to A. Natarajan, India’s Consul General in Jaffna.
Mr. Natarajan added that only the fishermen were being released and the decision did not cover the fishing boats impounded by the Sri Lankan authorities. According to the Ministry of External Affairs in the Indian government, 96 boats are in Sri Lankan custody.
When Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena met India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, India sought a permanent solution to the issue of frequent arrests of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lanka Navy. (The Hindu)