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Rajapaksa orders release of all Indian fishermen

President Mahinda Rajapaksa

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered the release of all Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody as a goodwill measure
President Mahinda RajapaksaColombo: President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered the release of all Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody as a goodwill measure to mark the swearing-in of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi.

Mr. Rajapaksa has ordered the release of all Indian fishermen ahead of his visit to New Delhi to attend Mr. Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on Monday, a presidential spokesman said.

This is the second instance when Sri Lanka is releasing Indian fishermen arrested by their navy for poaching.

In March, Mr. Rajapaksa had ordered the release of arrested fishermen after India abstained from voting on an anti-Sri Lanka motion at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

India was one of the 12 nations that abstained from voting on the UNHRC resolution, which prescribed an international probe into Sri Lanka’s alleged rights abuses.

India had previously backed two similar resolutions against Sri Lanka moved by the United States.

Sri Lankan fisheries ministry officials, however, could not indicate the number of Indian fishermen currently in detention.

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