Team to reach Cmb today to repair boats

A team from Tamil Nadu is arriving here on Wednesday in a bid to repair and re-float the seven boats that require to be fixed before they can be taken back.
Earlier, 35 Indian fishermen, with two boats in tow, were taken to the International Maritime Boundary Line and handed over to the eastern region of the Indian Coast Guard on Tuesday afternoon.

The fishermen were reluctant to leave without all the boats that they had come in but were persuaded after their compatriots from India, and officials of the Jaffna Indian Consulate spoke to them and assured them that the boats would be safe. “The Sri Lankan Navy has done a commendable job in coordinating and helping out,” said the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Ashok K. Kantha. “We expect it to take about 3-4 days to carry out repairs on the boats,” he added.
While the Sri Lankan Navy had pulled out each one of the 35 fishermen from treacherous seas, the Indian High Commission, and the Indian Mission in Jaffna, coordinated on various aspects of repatriation. The gesture of the Sri Lankan Navy lays the foundation for the Government-to-Government talks on fisheries issues slated for January 13 and 14.

The Indian delegation for the talks, aimed at sorting out contentious issues with respect to fishing and fishermen crossing the IMBL, will be led by Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Joint Secretary (BSM), in the Ministry of External Affairs. It will have a representative from the Tamil Nadu too. (The Hindu)

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