COLOMBO, April 28 (Xinhua) — The Sri Lanka Navy assisted the Sri Lanka Coast Guard to arrest 21 Indian fishermen who were poaching illegally in the island country’s northern seas on Thursday, the navy media unit said.
Three Indian fishing Dhows were also take into custody and the arrested fishermen along with the dhows were handed over to the Mannar police for onward action.
The fishermen were arrested southwest of Talaimannar, the navy said.
Sri Lanka and India, have been trying to resolve the long standing fishermen issue with fishermen from both sides having to face arrest and boats being detained when they stray into each other’s waters illegally.
In February, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj who was in Colombo to attend the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission, held discussions with her Sri Lankan counterpart over the issue and both countries agreed to find a lasting solution.
Indian media reports recently quoted Swaraj as saying that a meeting of ministers dealing with fisheries from India and Sri Lanka will be convened in May to work out a mechanism to resolve the lingering issue.