External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday informed Parliament that the negotiations by the Indian government with Sri Lankan government resulted in the release of 42 boats and 251 fishermen.
She made this observation while speaking at the ongoing session of Indian Parliament. She stated that the matter of Indian fishermen being captured by Sri Lanka has been taken up with the island nation. The matter was raised in each meeting of PM Modi with Sri Lankan President and Prime Minister.
She added that the Indian government is not just working on the release of these fishermen, but has also ensured safety of their lives. Five fishermen who were captured by Sri Lanka had death penalty during previous government’s term, but after BJP came into power PM Narendra Modipersonally spoke to Sri Lankan authorities and got the charges removed and brought them back safely.
Responding to a question by CPI leader D Raja, she said, “This is an adhoc pattern, at times they (Sri Lankan government) release the fishermen quickly and at times they take time. I would like to highlight that post the BJP government came into power, the releases of the fishermen have been done quickly.
Central government accords the highest priority to promote the well-being, safety and security of Indian fishermen and have strongly conveyed to Sri Lanka that the use of force cannot be justified under any circumstances.”