Sri Lanka to release jailed Tamil Nadu fishermen

Chennai, Jan 11: Steps will be taken in a day or two by the Sri Lankan government to release 275 Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan jails, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said Saturday.

The Tamil Nadu government is also taking steps to release 179 arrested Sri Lankan fishermen so that talks between fishermen of the two nations can take place in a cordial atmosphere here Jan 20.

In statement issued here, Jayalalithaa said the union government has assured that Colombo would take steps from Jan 13 onwards to release Indian fishermen jailed in Sri Lanka.

The centre had requested the state government to release Sri Lankan fishermen arrested by the Indian Coast Guard and they would be released in couple of days, she said.

Jayalalithaa stressed that her government will protect the traditional fishing rights of Indian fishermen.

She said that because of her prompt action, out of the 1,111 Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka in the past two-and-half years, 836 have been released.

IANS