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Sri Lanka to release 42 boats, but warns of action if Indian fishermen enter its waters

(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – Sri Lankan Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera has confirmed that 42 Indian boats will be released but warned that Sri Lankan will continue to seize the boats that cross the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).

Sri Lanka has 143 boats belonged to Tamil Nadu fishermen in custody, the India Today reported.

When the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Sri Lanka in May, it was confirmed that the island nation’s Government would consider releasing Indian boats in its custody.

While Indian fishermen are happy about the announcement, they’ve said that they need protection in the Indian Ocean Region.

“Every time we go to sea there is a threat to our life and property. We want the Government to ensure our protection,” said Emerat, fishermen leader.

“Now we want our Government to ensure that the (Released) boats reach us at the earliest, and also ensure that the rest of the 101 boats also be released,” said Jesuraj, another fishermen leader.

Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Ministry has said Indian fishermen should remember to not enter Sri Lankan waters, and that they must refrain from using nets or trawlers – which are banned in Sri Lanka.

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