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* Sri Lanka, India exchange released fishermen and boats
Fri, Jan 24, 2014, 11:19 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka and India today exchanged more fishermen released from each other's jails in accordance with the agreement reached in New Delhi on the detained fishermen.

The second fishermen exchange took place Friday at the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) off Kankasanthurei with the assistance of Sri Lanka Navy and Indian Coast Guard.

Sri Lanka Navy handed over 71 Indian fishermen with 15 fishing boats to the Indian Coast Guard Ship "Samudra Paharedar" at the IMBL.

The Indian Coast Guard in exchange handed over 59 Sri Lankan fishermen with 4 fishing boats to Sri Lankan authorities.

Sri Lanka Navy Ship "Ranawickrama", assisted by Sri Lanka Coast Guard vessels, "CG 42" and "CG 48", was deployed for the operation.

Meanwhile, a Sri Lankan court today has ordered the release of another 40 Indian fishermen and four boats. With the latest order, Sri Lanka has released 255 Indian fishermen.

The Tamil Nadu government has also ordered today the release of another 18 Sri Lankan fishermen and three boats. The state government has taken measures to release all 179 Sri Lankan fishermen detained in the state prisons.

The central Indian government has asked the Andhra Pradesh government to expedite the release of remaining 25 Sri Lankan fishermen detained in the state. The authorities have released six of the 31 fishermen detained in that state.

The two sides at ministerial level discussions held in New Delhi recently agreed to release all fishermen from the two countries as a measure to ensure an environment conducive to the upcoming talks between the fishermen associations of the two neighbors. The talks are scheduled for January 27 in Chennai.

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