COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan Attorney General has told courts in the Northern and Eastern Provinces that he has no objection to their releasing the 87 Indian fishing vessels which had been detained with an intention to discourage Tamil Nadu and Puduchery fishermen from poaching in Lankan waters.
The courts at Kayts, Mannar and Point Pedro in the Northern Province and at Trincomalee in the Eastern Province are likely to order their release on Thursday, an informed source told Express here on Wednesday.
Out of the 87 boats, 81 are in the Northern Province and six are in the Eastern Province.
As part of a deal with India, India will also release the 22 Lankan boats in its custody.
Some 15 Indian boats, held by the Lankan navy at Mannar, are badly damaged. Whether these will also be repatriated remains to be seen, the sources said
Release of boats from both the countries is expected to set the tone for talks which Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will be having with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at New Delhi during his visit to India beginning on February 15.