CBM on Track as India, SL Free 104 Fishermen - The New Indian Express

CBM on Track as India, SL Free 104 Fishermen

Published: 14th January 2014 07:45 AM

Last Updated: 15th January 2014 11:28 AM

As part of confidence-building measures announced by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, India and Sri Lanka on Monday began releasing jailed fisherfolk ahead of talks between fishermen outfits of the two countries to address various issues, such as poaching and use of destructive fishing methods, slated for January 20.

By doing so, both countries went by the timeline indicated by Jayalalithaa although Lankan fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne had on Sunday claimed that the process would begin only after January 15.

Sri Lanka released 52 fishermen in all — 20 at Malakkam in Jaffna district and 32 at Trincomalee. Tamil Nadu reciprocated by releasing 52 Lankans from Puzhal prison. Lanka also released 12 boats of TN fishermen from Trincomalee.

Jayalalithaa gave officials clear instructions to maintain strict reciprocity in future releases as well. The instructions came after the Centre informed Tamil Nadu Fisheries Secretary S Vijayakumar that Lanka had promised to start releasing fishermen from Monday.

A government statement noted that Jayalalithaa’s efforts had led to the release of 836 of the 1,111 fishermen arrested in the past two-and-a-half years. It also said the Centre had shared with the State government the list of participants in the January 20 talks.

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