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Lankan fishermen, boats released

The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ministry obtained the release of 637 Lankan fishermen who were held in custody in five countries (India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar and Diego Garcia) in 2009 and also secured the release of 118 multiday fishing boats that were captured along with the fishermen.

“They all have been released following the intervention of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Felix Perera and the embassies of the respective countries”,the official added.

“The Ministry incurred a sum of Rs.22 million to get them released. In addition, the Ministry also paid for their air tickets, food, legal aid, transport , lodging etc.

He said the Minister acted swiftly to take all necessary steps to secure the release of the fishermen no sooner information was received about their arrest.

“A multiday boat costs between Rs. six million to eight million. The Ministry paid for the 118 multiday boats which were seized by the coast guard of the foreign countries.

“This was great relief for the fishing community”, he added.

 

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