Mar 15, Colombo: Following the summoning of Sri Lankan envoy in Chennai by the Indian government, Sri Lankan authorities Friday released the 34 fishermen arrested by the country's Navy on Thursday.
Sri Lanka Navy arrested the 34 Indian fishermen from Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu along with their 5 trawlers on Thursday for illegally fishing in Sri Lankan waters and handed them over to Delft Police for legal action.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo and the Consulate General in Jaffna have secured the release of 34 fishermen at Delft, media reports said.
The fishermen have been handed over to Indian officials in Delft from. The released fishermen will be brought to Jaffna and they will wait in Jaffna until repatriation.
The arrests of 53 fishermen irked the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to fire off a letter to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding the PM to intervene in getting the fishermen released immediately.
Subsequently the Indian Ministry of External Affairs summoned the deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Chennai and lodged a strong protest over the arrests and asked the envoy to treat the arrested men "in a humane manner" and ensure their prompt return.
The Indian Mission said it is currently negotiating the release of another 19 Indian fishermen arrested by the Navy on Wednesday and handed over to Thalaimannar police.