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September 30, 2023

Sri Lankan Navy Detained 12 Fishermen on Suspicion of Crossing The IMBL

The Sri Lankan Navy detained a total of twelve fishermen who are from the districts of Karaikal and Mayiladuthurai on suspicion of violating the International Maritime Boundary Line. The twelve of them were reportedly traveling on a trawler. 

The trawler was owned by S Manivannan from Keezhakasakudimedu and was registered in the name of his brother, S Ulaganathan.

On September 2, the boat departed from Nagapattinam’s fishing harbor. According to accounts, five of them are from Mayiladuthurai while seven are from Karaikal. The Lankan Navy confronted the people who were allegedly fishing near Mullaitheevu on Tuesday night in a “fast attack craft.”

They were then detained on suspicion of crossing the IMBL. The boat and the fishing equipment were also seized. After being transported to the Trincomalee Fishing Harbor, the fishermen were later turned over to the regional fisheries inspector. They were subsequently brought before a Trincomalee magistrate, who ordered them held in judicial detention until September 21.

The fishermen from Keezhakasakudimedu panchayat afterward visited Karaikal Collector L Mohamed Mansoor and asked him to take steps to bring their coworkers home.

They support a total of twelve families. They have asked the authorities to take action to bring their coworkers home and get the ship back. The Karaikal (Puducherry) fisheries department is non-responsive regarding the status of the actions they are doing to repatriate the fishermen. According to a representative of Tamil Nadu’s fisheries department, a report has been given to the directorate.

M K Stalin, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, informed S Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs, in a letter after learning about the occurrence. Stalin said, “As of now, 23 fishermen and 95 fishing boats from Tamil Nadu are under Sri Lankan custody. I request you to take up the issue through diplomatic channels.”

Stalin also expressed his gratitude for the ministry’s assistance in securing the release of 150 Tamil fishermen who had been detained by Sri Lanka in various instances during the previous nine months. The Sri Lankan Navy announced on Wednesday that it will conduct routine patrols close to the IMBL to stop illegal fishing and safeguard the nation’s resources and the livelihood of local fishermen.

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