Families seek release of fishermen in Lanka

Indian-fishermenAggrieved over the detention of seven fishermen of Threspuram in India by the Sri Lankan Navy, their families and relatives thronged the Collectorate in Tuticorin yesterday demanding the intervention of the district administration for their early and safe release, The Hindu newspaper reported.

They were detained for alleged cross border fishing at mid sea and a country boat, in which they sailed, was also seized. The seven fishermen set out to sea on September 26.

The Sri Lanka Navy assisted the Sri Lanka Coast Guard in seizing the fishing vessel in the sea north of Baththalangunduwa in Kalpitiya.

They also seized 500 kgs of fish and navigational equipment from the seven arrested Indian fishermen, ColomboPage reported today.

The arrested fishermen were handed over to the officials of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Puttalam) for further investigations.

The Sri Lanka Navy, which conducts routine patrols and surveillance to ensure the security of the seas, last week on two separate occasions arrested 21 fishermen from Tamil Nadu for poaching in Sri Lankan waters.

Sri Lanka accuses the fishermen from Tamil Nadu of straying into their territorial waters, while the latter maintain they are only fishing in their traditional areas, especially around Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Colombo in 1974.