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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2740

India released three fishing vessels belongs to Sri Lankan fishermen

Chennai, 21 January, (Asiantribune.com): The Government of India yesterday, released three Sri Lankan fishing vessels which were apprehended in 2006 and 2007 by the India authorities on allegations of entering Indian territorial waters illegally and for poaching.

Two Sri Lanka fishing vessel Pramoda Putha I and Pramoda Putha II were apprehended by Indian authorities on 10th August 2006, with ten crew members for illegally entering Indian waters for fishing.

After serving their sentence, the ten crew members were repatriated by air on 22nd December 2006, by the Deputy High Commission in Chennai, India, in coordination with the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while the vessels were confiscated to the Indian Government following the ruling of the Magistrate.

Another Sri Lankan fishing vessel, Devdu Prasansa , was also apprehended by Indian authorities on 13th June 2007, with four crew members for the same offence. After serving their sentence, the crew members were repatriated by air on 31st October 2007, by the Deputy High Commission in coordination with the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while the vessel was confiscated to the Indian Government based on the Magistrate’s ruling.

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission made various representations to the Government of Tamil Nadu on behalf of these fishing vessels and the matter was referred to the Central Government in New Delhi for a final decision.

Meanwhile, in keeping with the warm and long-standing relations between Sri Lanka and India, the Government of Sri Lanka had, in the past, released a large number of Indian fishermen with their fishing vessels, who were arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy for poaching in Sri Lankan waters, especially from Tamil Nadu, based on requests by the Governments of India and Tamil Nadu, the most recent being the release of three Tamil Nadu fishermen on 11th January 2008.

In reciprocating the good-will demonstrated by the Government of Sri Lanka, the Government of India has now ordered the release of the three Sri Lankan fishing vessels and the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission, which was in the forefront of these efforts, is in the process of liaising with the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sri Lanka and Governments of India and Tamil Nadu in arranging the repatriation of these vessels back to Sri Lanka.

- Asian Tribune -

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