B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: The Indian trawlers that were seized on Wednesday had been sailing towards the LTTE-controlled Vidattaltivu area in northwestern Mannar district, says Sri Lanka.

“The trawlers were surrounded by naval craft between the Delft and Thalaimannar islands and taken into custody. After investigation, we released 299 trawlers by 10 in the night and the remaining one trawler was released on Thursday morning,” said the Navy spokesman, Commander D.K.P. Dassanayake.

The Indian High Commission intervened to aid in their release.

Fisherfolk from India and Sri Lanka routinely stray into each other’s territorial waters. In recent weeks, both countries have stepped up vigil to ensure that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam does not take advantage of the situation in the guise of fisher folk.