Mar 12, Jaffna: A Sri Lankan court on Wednesday has ordered the release of 116 Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy over the past two months for crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and entering into Sri Lankan waters for poaching.
The release comes after a Tamil Nadu state government official's statement that the second round of talks between Sri Lanka and India fishermen scheduled for tomorrow in Colombo would take place only if Sri Lanka releases all the 177 Indian fishermen and their 44 currently in Sri Lankan custody.
"The fishermen along with their 27 boats were ordered to be released by a court at Oorkavalthurai ahead of the talks to be held between officials and fishermen of both countries," Assistant Director of Fisheries Gopinath told PTI.
However, the documents to enable fishermen's association leaders to visit Sri Lanka for talks had not yet been received. The official expects the documents today or tomorrow, PTI said.
The first round of talks between the representatives of Indian and Sri Lankan officials and fishermen's associations were held in Chennai on January 27 to reach a solution to the nagging issue of Indian fishermen invading Sri Lanka's waters for fishing.