Published On: January 05, 2022 at 19:25 IST
Release of 13 Tamil Nadu fishermen was ordered by the Sri Lankan Court in the Northern Mannar district. The fishermen had been arrested on the charges of illegal fishing and of crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line.
There were three Arrests made by the Sri Lankan Navy in December 2021. These 13 fishermen were also detained in one of the three Arrests. In total, 68 fishermen from India were Arrested for illegal fishing by the Sri Lankan Navy and 10 mechanized boats were also seized by them.
The Indian High Commission expressed happiness on the release of fishermen by tweeting, “Happy to learn from our lawyer in Mannar that 13 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu are being released.” It also stated that steps were being taken for the early return of the fishermen.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M K Stalin had written to the Centre and also sought early release of the fishermen. He also pointed out that Sri Lanka was arresting the Indian fishermen quite frequently. In 2021, Sri Lanka arrested 231 fishermen from India which is the highest figure since 2017.
After several failed attempts by India and Sri Lanka to resolve the issue, the conflict of Palk Bay Fisheries still remains which affects the fisher folks of both Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu. The Tamil fishermen from Sri Lanka have been continuously asking the fishermen from Tamil Nadu to stop the usage of bottom-trawling fishing method which is banned in Sri Lanka but the Tamil Nadu fishermen have not yet agreed to it.
There are reports that the talks between the Fisher leaders of both sides might resume soon. Also, efforts are being taken for the release of the remaining fishermen through diplomatic talks with Sri Lanka.