Sri Lanka releases 40 Indian fishermen

Colombo, Aug 10 (IANS) Sri Lankan authorities on Monday released 40 Indian fishermen after they appeared before two separate courts in the northern part of the island nation.

A foreign ministry official told Xinhua news agency that 14 fishermen were released following an order from the Mannar court while 26 others were released by a court in Point Pedro.

Sri Lankan authorities were now working out procedures on handing over these fishermen to the Indian authorities, the official added.

All Indian fishermen have now been released from Sri Lankan custody.

Their release comes days before India celebrates its 69th Independence Day on August 15.

Both India and Sri Lanka have been trying to address the long standing Indo-Sri Lankan fishing issue, with several discussions held in the past resulting in a deadlock.

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