Lankan Navy deployed to secure release of Indian hostages

2009-12-11 06:57:42


A Sri Lankan Navy vessel has been deployed to secure the release of two Indian Coast Guard members being held hostage by a group of Sri Lankan fishermen at mid sea, Deputy Fisheries Minister Neomal Perera told Daily Mirror online.

He said that the Navy will seek to bring the five Sri Lankan fishermen back to Sri Lanka and hand over the Indian Coast Guard members to India. The Sri Lankan fishermen are refusing to be taken to India to be tried for entering Indian waters illegally.

The fishermen had reportedly forcibly taken the weapons of the Coast Guard members and held them hostage.

Seven boats with Sri Lankan fishermen had entered Indian waters on Wednesday night and were surrounded by the Indian Coast Guard.

When two Coast Guard members boarded one boat the Sri Lankan fishermen on it had forcibly taken the weapons of the Indians and held them hostage.

Indian Coast Guard reinforcements later surrounded the Sri Lankan fishing boats and managed to arrest fishermen onboard the other boats. However the standoff with the fishermen holding two Coast Guard members hostage continued even today.

By Indika Sri Aravinda

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