Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered the release of 29 Indian fishermen late on Monday.

According to a message from his office, the fishermen - arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on Sunday near Thalaimannar on charges of poaching - were being released as a goodwill gesture.

The release order came Monday night, after a Mannar court remanded the 29 fishermen

to custody until June 16. Four other fishermen detained on Sunday were not remanded to custody as their trawler had reportedly strayed into Sri Lankan waters after a mechanical failure.