As many as 13 Indian fishermen were repatriated from Sri Lanka to Chennai on Tuesday, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka said in a statement.
In a post shared on X, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka stated, “Back home safely! 13 fishermen Indian were repatriated from Sri Lanka to Chennai earlier this morning.”
Earlier on January 5, 21 Indian fishermen were repatriated from Sri Lanka to Chennai, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka informed through a statement. They were detained by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly being involved in illegal poaching in Lankan waters.
“21 fishermen Indian fishermen have been repatriated from #SriLanka to #Chennai a short while ago,” the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka had posted on its official X handle.
At least 33 Indian trawlers and 220 fishermen Indian fishermen were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy in 2023, the Sri Lankan Navy said in a statement back in December, last year.
Six Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu were arrested by the Lankan Navy in December. In a separate incident in the same month, 25 fishermen — 12 from Tamil Nadu and 13 from Puducherry — were also detained by the Sri Lankan navy.
The arrests of Indian fishermen by the Lankan navy in the recent past have been a matter of concern not just for the Centre but also for the Tamil Nadu government.
In October last year, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, expressing concern over the repeated arrests of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, while reiterating his demand that the Centre do the needful in safeguarding the traditional fishing rights of the state’s anglers in the Palk Bay region.
Tamil Nadu BJP president Annamalai also wrote to EAM Jaishankar over the issue. Notably, the issue was also discussed during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe during the latter’s visit to India in July this year.
In a statement after meeting Ranil Wickremesinghe, PM Modi said, “We also discussed the issues related to the livelihood of fishermen. We agree that we should proceed with a humane approach in this matter.”
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