Sri Lankan navy arrests 43 Indian fishermen

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Colombo, Jan 25: At least 43 Indian fishermen have been arrested by Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly violating the international maritime boundary. The Navy spokesperson Kosala Warnakulasuriya said some 43 fishermen on board six trawlers were arrested last night off the coast of Pulmoddai in the east.

They were currently being brought to the eastern port of Trincomalee and would be handed over to police for further investigations, he said. Sri Lankan Navy has been frequently detaining Indian fishermen since mid December last year.

During his visit to the country recently, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had raised the "emotive issue" of Indian fishermen and emphasised the need that this should be handled with care on both sides.

"As we explore possible solutions, we must ensure that there is no use of force against the fishermen and that they are treated in a humane manner," he had said.

Sri Lanka-India Joint Working Group on fisheries met early this month to thrash out issues related to fishing. Fishermen of both sides stray into each other's waters regularly in addition to Sri Lanka Navy coming under accusations of attacks against Indian fishermen. 

PTI

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