June 17, Chennai: Minister of Finance and Fishing of state government of Tamil Nadu, D. Jayakumar on Friday promised the State Assembly that the government would continue to take steps to secure the release of 11 fishermen and 135 fishing boats from Sri Lanka.
Responding to an issue raised by DMK MLA KPP Samy and J G Prince (Congress), the minister said that CM Palaniswami had been constantly exerting pressure on the Centre for getting the release of fishermen and the boats, Express News Service reported.
"So far, 2,490 fishermen had been released following steps taken by the late Chief Minister and the present government. Similarly, 358 mechanized boats had also been brought back. When some of them were damaged beyond repair, the late CM had extended assistance of D5 lakh each for buying new boats," he said.
Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said Sri Lanka has agreed to release 42 Indian fishing boats held in its custody since 2015 on a condition that they will never re-enter the country's territorial waters.