01/16/2014, 00.00
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India and Sri Lanka: Release begins of all detained fishermen

by Melani Manel Perera
By mutual agreement , New Delhi will release 160 Sri Lankan men and four boats and Colombo will release 236 Indian men and 90 boats. Vexed question of territorial incursions by fishermen momentarily resolved.

Colombo ( AsiaNews) - As of today, India and Sri Lanka will release all fishermen and vessels of the respective counterparty , arrested and held in custody in recent years. The decision is the result of a meeting that took place yesterday in New Delhi between Sri Lankan Minister for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Rajitha Senaratne and Sharad Pawar, Indian Minister for Agriculture .

Also today, the two countries will discuss the problem of trawling, which is practiced by India but causes severe damage to the Sri Lankan ecosystem.

Specifically, New Delhi will release 160 Sri Lankan fishermen and four boats, in turn Colombo will set free 236 Indian fishermen and 90 vessels. Senaratne has called the talks "highly fruitful". At the request of the Indian government, the minister added that he will soon be taking the necessary measures to reduce fishing -related disputes between the two countries.

For over 10 years New Delhi and Colombo have been at loggerheads over the ongoing trespassing of fishermen, which especially irritates the governments of the coastal states of India and the islands of the Bay of Bengal. In recent years, India and Sri Lanka have had their crews imprisoned several times for having invaded territorial waters.


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