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The Sri Lanka Navy assisted the Sri Lanka Coast Guard to arrest four Indian fishermen poaching in the island’s northern waters on Tuesday, the navy media unit said.

One Indian fishing trawler was also taken into custody.

The fishermen were arrested South West of Delft Island.

The arrested fishermen and trawler were brought to SLNS Elara in Karainagar and will be handed over to the assistant director of fisheries in Jaffna in the north for onward action, the navy said.

Sri Lanka and India have been trying to resolve the long standing fishermen issue, as fishermen from both sides face arrest and boats are 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.

Indian media reports on Tuesday said that bilateral talks between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen will be held in New Delhi on Wednesday to find a solution to the issues.

Informal talks between the fishermen held in 2004 and 2010 as well as the talks held in Chennai in southern India in 2014 with the support of the Indian and Sri Lankan governments failed to solve the issues.

Indian fishermen, quoted in media reports said that they were hopeful that the row would be sorted out following Wednesday’s discussions and Indian fishermen would be able to fish in the Palk Strait. Endit

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