The Sri Lankan new government has decided to release all the detained Indian fishermen and all the boats as a goodwill gesture for the Hindu festival Thaipoangal.
External Affairs Ministry in a statement on Wednesday (14) said the government on humanitarian grounds is processing the release of the remaining fifteen Indian fishermen from Puducherry who are detained in Sri Lanka for poaching.
There are also 87 boats of Indian fishermen which have been detained in instances over a period of time, and are presently in Sri Lankan judicial custody.
The Ministry said the release of the boats would be "favorably considered" upon claims being registered by the respective owners in the relevant courts, in keeping with the legally stipulated practice.
The Ministry while noting that India released 10 Sri Lankan fishermen in Indian custody said with the on-going process for release by the Sri Lankan authorities of the Indian fishermen, both countries would have reciprocated on the fishermen in each other's custody.
"The release at this juncture of the fishermen reflects yet again the desire of the two countries to address matters relating to detained fishermen in an expeditious manner. This demonstrates the goodwill and understanding which exists bilaterally and is a manifestation of the warm and abiding relationship," the External Affairs Ministry said.