By Bharatha Mallawarachi
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka has freed 110 Indian fishermen detained over two months for poaching, in a sign of easing tensions between the countries over the issue, authorities said Wednesday.
Three courts released the fishermen on the instructions of the Attorney General's department and the navy will arrange to send them back to India, said Narendra Rakapaksa, spokesman of the Ministry of Fisheries.
He said they have been informed that 25 Sri Lankans held in India on the same accusation were also freed Wednesday.
Fisheries ministers from the two nations met in New Delhi in January to discuss releasing detained fishermen and taking long-term measures to prevent unlawful fishing in each other's waters. As a result of the talks, 283 Indian and 181 Sri Lankan fishermen who were held in the two countries were released.
Despite the meeting, poaching has continued and both sides have arrested more fishermen accused of illegal fishing.
Since the January talks, Sri Lankan authorities have detained 172 Indian fishermen and India has detained 22 Sri Lankans as of last week.