Sri Lanka on Sunday said a humanitarian gesture in view of its ties with India was inappropriately dubbed by a section of media here as a willful violation of immigration rules.

Sri Lankan Navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya said that following an Indian High Commission request the Sri Lankan Navy had done search operations on a missing Indian fishing boat off Sri Lanka's northern coast.

“A body was found west of the Delft islet on April 6. As an emergency measure to help the relatives identify the body, they were allowed to enter Sri Lankan waters. This action was taken in the spirit of the friendly relations between the two countries and the humanitarian angle involved,” Mr. Warnakulasuriya said.

The Sunday Times had reported that six Indians had been allowed to enter Sri Lankan waters ignoring immigration procedures.

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