India released 16 Sri Lankan fishermen who were under custody in Karnataka State in South India. The Ministry of Fisheries said that early arrangements will be made to bring them back to Sri Lanka.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Fisheries said another batch of 23 Sri Lankan foishermen are still under custody in Andhra Pradesh in South India and efforts will be continued to obtain their release. He said 12 Sri Lankan boats are also under the custody of Andhra Pradesh.
Earlier President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered the officials to take immediate steps to release Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody. This gesture was taken in view of Indian Independence Day anniversary which falls on August 15.
Accordingly, 95 Indian fishermen will be released under the Presidentís instruction. Consequently, there are no more Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan prisons facing charges of trespassing.