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Suspended prison sentences for Indian fishermen for poaching in Sri Lanka waters

30 January 2024 09:59 pm - 5     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Jan 30 -  Ten Indian fishermen were sentenced to a two-year suspended prison term by a Sri Lankan court for poaching in the island nation's waters.

The magistrate in Point Pedro in the northern Jaffna peninsula on Monday also ordered the owner of the trawler to be present at the court on October 24 when the case will be next heard.

The trawler has been detained in a case of illegal fishing.

The ‘two-year prison term suspended for five years’ means that the fishermen don’t go to jail actually but the sentence is suspended after five years.

The fishermen, arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy on December 23, have attended the Point Pedro court three times.

The magistrate Ponnuthurai Krishanth ordered the police to return their personal belongings seized by the Navy.

The fishermen sentenced to suspended jail terms would be sent to the immigration detention centre in Colombo’s suburb of Mirihana until formalities could be conducted to repatriate them.

The fishermen issue is a contentious one in the ties between India and Sri Lanka, with Lankan Navy personnel even firing at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats in several alleged incidents of illegally entering Sri Lankan territorial waters.

The Palk Strait, a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, is a rich fishing ground for fishermen from both countries.

There have been periodic instances of Indian fishermen being arrested by Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and fishing in Sri Lankan waters. More than 20 Indian fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy in this month.

In 2023, the island nation's Navy arrested 240 Indian fishermen along with 35 trawlers for allegedly poaching in Sri Lankan waters.

  Comments - 5

  • lion Wednesday, 31 January 2024 05:18 AM

    Best solution is to confiscate the trawler involved in the illegal fishing and release the fishermen.

    Punchi Wednesday, 31 January 2024 06:49 AM

    It’s so sad a few years ago our navy was using Indian fishermen for live target practice. Now India is too powerful and we can’t do this anymore

    wsw Wednesday, 31 January 2024 08:35 AM

    Destroy the boats and send them back without having to feed them. That will send these scoundrels a strong message.

    joshua Wednesday, 31 January 2024 09:19 AM

    Unless stringent action is taken nothing happens and this has become an eyewash.

    Patcitz Thursday, 01 February 2024 12:17 AM

    After, a mere delegation from India visits soon, will result in the unconditional release of those arrested fishermen. This is a bold eye-wash that Ranil usually plays.

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