COLOMBO, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) — The Sri Lanka Navy assisted the Sri Lanka Coast Guard to arrest five Indian fishermen who were poaching illegally in Sri Lanka’s northern seas on Tuesday, the navy said in a statement here.
One Indian fishing trawler was also taken into custody.
“The fishing trawler and the arrested fishermen were brought to the Kankesanthurei Harbour to be handed over to the Assistant Director of Fisheries, Jaffna for onward action,” 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 arrests and boats being detained when they stray into each other’s waters illegally.
Both countries have held several rounds of talks in an attempt to resolve the matter but have failed to reach a final solution.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena had sought for an early solution to the issue during a discussion with Indian minister of state for external affairs earlier this month.
Sirisena said both the Indian and Sri Lankan governments looked at it as a human issue and whenever fishermen were arrested for illegal border crossing, the respective governments released them as early as possible.