Sri Lankan government has sought more time

The much-awaited meeting between fishermen of India and Sri Lanka has been postponed by a week to January 27, following a request from the Sri Lankan government.

A press release from State government said though the meeting had been originally scheduled for January 20, Sri Lankan government had sought more time from Indian government to finalise its representatives. On receiving the communication on January 17, the Ministry of External Affairs informed the State government about the request made by Sri Lanka.

According to the communication, the Sri Lankan Fisheries Minister, Rajitha Senaratne, who had come to India, returned to his country only on January 17 morning. Hence, a request for postponing the meeting by a week was made.

The State government release said at a meeting in New Delhi on January 10 to finalise the list of representatives from India for the meeting, Secretary to the Fisheries Department of Tamil Nadu pressed for release of all fishermen from the State lodged in Sri Lankan prisons ahead of the meeting.

59 fishermen released

Our Special Correspondent from Ramanathapuram writes: Fifty-nine Sri Lankan fishermen were released on orders from the Rameswaram Judicial Magistrate on Friday night. C. Mohan Ram, Mudukulatur Judicial Magistrate, who was in-charge of CJM court here, ordered the release of the fishermen, lodged in Puzhal Central prison. After the government issued four separate orders for their release, the Additional Public Prosecutor filed petitions under Section 321 of Cr. PC and withdrew the cases registered by the Tuticorin Marine Police.

The court also dismissed as withdrawn charge sheets filed against the fishermen by Thermal Nagar police.