Sri Lankan fishermen urge India to release their boats

August 31st, 2008 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Aug 31 (Xinhua) A Sri Lankan fishermen’s trade union Sunday sought the release of two fishing boats held by the Indian authorities for poaching. Sirimal Pinto, spokesman of the union, told reporters that they have alerted the Sri Lankan ministry of fisheries on the matter.

“Two boats have been held since Aug 28 by the Indian authorities. They are now being held at Visakhapatnam port,” Pinto said, adding that the two boats were seized by Indian Coast Guards Aug 17.

G. Piyasena, secretary to Sri Lanka’s ministry of fisheries said the government was aware of the seizures.

Both Indian and Sri Lankan navies have intensified patrolling in the maritime borders mainly to prevent Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka’s north from smuggling in military hardware.

The Sri Lankan Navy early this month refuted Indian allegations of firing at Indian fishing boats and killing several fishermen.

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