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Lanka returns India's favour, releases all fishermen

March 28, 2014 11:20 IST

Elated after India's abstention at the UN Human Rights Council vote on Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday ordered the release of all Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody for poaching. 

"President this morning has ordered the release of all Indian fishermen," Wijayananda Herath, a presidential spokesman told PTI. 

The president's instructions have gone to the Attorney General and the Ministry of Fisheries to make the necessary arrangements for their release, Herath said.

Narendra Rajapaksa, the fisheries ministry spokesman said that at least 98 Indian fishermen are under Sri Lankan custody for violating the IMBL.

India was one of the 12 nations that abstained at Thursday’s UNHRC vote on the resolution which has prescribed an international probe into Sri Lanka's alleged rights abuses.

Rajapaksa hailed the India's abstention as a very welcome and significant development which was very encouraging towards Sri Lanka.

India had supported both previous US-moved resolutions in 2012 and 2013. 

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