Rajapaksa Offers to Return Boats of Indian Fishermen - The New Indian Express

Rajapaksa Offers to Return Boats of Indian Fishermen

Published: 26th February 2014 09:17 AM

Last Updated: 26th February 2014 09:19 AM

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has invited Tamil Nadu fishermen, whose released vessels are still in the possession of the Sri Lankan Navy, to come over to the island and take charge of them at the earliest.

Presidential spokesman Mohan Samaranayake told  Indian journalists here on Tuesday that 49 boats which were released earlier are still in the possession of  Lankan authorities. Rajapaksa feels that it is time the fishermen concerned came over and took charge of them.

These boats  are scattered over a wide area along the Lankan coast from Kalpitiya to Thalaimannar, and the Jaffna coast, Samaranayake said.  The official concerned in the Indian High Commission said that the mission is in the process of arranging for the visas and other facilities for the fishermen to travel to Sri Lanka and get back with their boats.

The  official clarified that these 49 boats are not part of the ones recently caught  in Lankan waters;116 fishermen were caught recently. The remand of 29 of these were extended up to March 10 by a court on Monday. The cases relating to the rest are to come up on Wednesday, he said.

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