Sri Lanka to release Indian fishing boats, fishermen

This was conveyed to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar by his Sri Lankan counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena, who is on his first overseas visit after assuming charge as the Foreign Minister in November 2019. Credit: PTI

Sri Lanka on Thursday assured India of returning 52 Indian fishing boats and speedy release of 15 fishermen from the island nation's prison.

This was conveyed to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar by his Sri Lankan counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena, who is on his first overseas visit after assuming charge as the Foreign Minister in November 2019.

The two ministers had a delegation-level talk in which they discussed several bilateral, regional and global issues.

“Economic projects, development assistance and manpower issues were discussed. The issue of Indian fishermen and boats in Sri Lankan custody also came up during the discussion. The Sri Lankan minister assured release of 52 boats for which a process has been initiated. They will be freed soon,” Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs said here.

The Sri Lankan side would also release 15 fishermen.

The foreign minister's visit takes place close on the heels of the recent visit by the Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapakse in November 2019.

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