Aug 06, Colombo: The 37 Chinese fishermen detained by the Sri Lankan Navy Monday are still on their trawlers and are safe, the Chinese Embassy in Colombo has said.
The Chinese Embassy has said that the fishermen work on vessels registered to Sri Lanka and the authorities are trying to determine whether they were engaged in illegal fishing.
The Chinese Embassy has urged Sri Lankan authorities to deal with the matter according to the law, ascertain the facts in the case and release the Chinese fishermen as soon as possible.
The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said today that naval personnel attached to the Eastern Naval Command Sunday night detained the Chinese fishermen along with two Sri Lankans off the coast of Batticaloa.
The fishermen were in two multi-day fishing trawlers registered with Sri Lanka's Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources with permission to engage in fishing beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Sri Lanka under a BOI project.
According to the Navy the fishermen were in a zone that they were not allowed to engage in fishing.
The Navy said the fishermen were handed over to the Trincomalee Harbor Police for further investigations.