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Sri Lankan navy arrests 65 Indian fishermen

July 31, 2013 08:21 IST

Sixty-five Indian fishermen in nine trawlers have been detained by the Sri Lankan navy for allegedly violating the international maritime border. Naval spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya has said that 34 of them in five trawlers were arrested off the coast north of Point Pedro in the north, on Tuesday.

While another 31 were arrested east of Mullaithivu along with four vessels. "The arrest came last night and the fishermen have been handed over to the authorities in Point Pedro in the north and the eastern port district of Trincomalee" he said.

"They will be charged of violating the international maritime border limits," said the naval officer. Commenting on the frequent incidents of trespassing by Indian fishermen, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that it could be part of an "organised operation".

Whereas, his brother Basil Rajapaksa who is the minister of economic development in Sri Lanka has invited a group of Indian fishermen to visit Sri Lanka to discuss the issue. The government sources said that a fishermen group from Rameswaram would be due early August.

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