Sri Lanka to release 16 Indian fishermen as gesture of friendship

Colombo, Sept. 13 : Sri Lanka on Sunday announced the release of 16 Indian fishermen as a gesture of friendliness to mark Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s two day official visit to New Delhi that starts on Monday.

A statement issued by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s office says that the fishermen were taken into custody last week and considering the family background and health of some of the fishermen the decision to release them has been taken.

The statement also mentioned that a request for their release by fishermen’s associations of Rameshwaram had been considered.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s office confirmed that during his 2 day long trip, he will undertake bilateral discussions with President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj among other Indian leaders.

The Prime Minister’s office also stated that dialogue between the two sides will focus on strengthening friendship between India and Lanka, regional peace and establishing reconciliation.

Foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera, International Trade minister Malick Samarwickrema and top officials will join the Sri Lankan PM on the tour. (ANI)