60 Sri Lankan(mostly Sinhalese) fishermen held -
04-30-2008, 12:28 AM
Sixty Sri Lankan fishermen, mostly Sinhalese origin, were taken into custody by the Indian Coast Guard along with 12 boats for reportedly entering the Indian waters off Andaman coast, official sources said.
The fishermen and their boats were being brought to Mandapam Coast Guard Station near here where they were expected to be handed over to police for further action, officials here said.
This is one of the rare occasions when so many Sri Lankan fishermen have been arrested for fishing in Indian waters
while the detention of Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu for straying into Sri Lankan waters is a common occurrence.
Sri Lankan fishermen usually frequent waters around Andaman in search of tuna fish, available there. This variety of fish is in demand in Sri Lanka and Maldives, officials said.
Recently, tweleve Sri Lankan fishermen were arrested in the Palk Straits for entering Indian waters. They were released weeks after their detention.
Meanwhile, fishing activity in the sea here remained suspended following the annual 45-day ban on fishing imposed by the government in view of the breeding season.
In another development, a group of 37 Sri Lankan refugees arrived at Arichalmunai near here from Mannar, Vavunia and Jaffna in two boats early this morning.
This was the first time in last six months that such a large number of refugees arrived in a single batch.
According to officials, the refugees had fled the island due to bombing by the Sri Lankan forces since Saturday. There was also acute scarcity of food.
The refugees said thousands of Tamils were waiting in jungles to flee to India. Schools and colleges in Jaffna peninsula had been closed, they said
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