India’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha met on Tuesday the five Indian fishermen who were awarded the death sentence by a Colombo court, and assured them that New Delhi would make all efforts for their early release and repatriation.
External Affairs Ministry officials said the High Commissioner’s team found the fishermen in good health and they sought permission for making calls and writing to their relatives in Tamil Nadu. The prison authorities, Foreign Ministry sources said, readily agreed to arrange for telephone calls in two days. The fishermen were free to write letters too.
The Ministry tweeted images of Mr. Sinha exiting the Welikada prison in Colombo. The Colombo High Court sentenced to death Emerson, P. Augustus, R. Wilson, K. Prasath and J. Langlet on October 30 on charges of smuggling heroin. They were arrested in 2011.
New Delhi has said it will take all possible steps through legal and diplomatic channels to “prove their innocence.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to take up the matter with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa when they meet at the SAARC summit in Kathmandu later this month.