Aug 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka Saturday released 94 Indian fishermen who were detained in the country's jails for trespassing into Sri Lankan waters but has decided not to release their boats.
Sri Lanka's Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has said that there is no possibility of releasing the 63 boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen taken into custody along with the arrests of the fishermen.
"I don't think it is possible to release the boats," Senaratne has told Express News Service when asked about the fate of the 63 boats in detention in Jaffna and Mannar since June.
The Sri Lankan government has recently adopted a policy of releasing the fishermen without their boats to deter their returns to Sri Lankan seas for poaching.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa last month wrote to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to take steps to secure the immediate release of all the 93 fishermen from Tamil Nadu their 62 boats from Sri Lankan custody.
Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu despite numerous arrests by the Navy continually violate the international maritime boundary line and poach in Sri Lankan waters depriving the Sri Lankan fishermen of their livelihood resources.