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22 Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Navy

In the early hours of last Thursday, 22 Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested by Sri Lanka's Navy for allegedly illegally entering Sri Lankan waters and engaging in fishing activities.

They remain in detention. The Tamil Nadu fisherfolk were initally discovered by the Navy while they were patrolling near Delft Island. The fisherfolk were on board three boats, which were also seized by the Navy.

Following initial investigations by the Navy, the fisherfolk were handed over to the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Point Pedro. The fishermen are currently being held in custody pending further investigation.

The arrest of Tamil Nadu fishermen follows an increasing crackdown on Sri Lankan waters, with Tamil Nadu fishermen reporting instances of abuse, torture, and extrajudicial killings by Sri Lanka's Navy. At the same time Sri Lanka's Navy stands accused of restricting the fishing rights of local Tamil residents across the North-East.

Last October the Federation of Jaffna District Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Unions told the Hindu:

“Despite our disagreement with our brothers in Tamil Nadu, we have always been in solidarity. We have relied only on dialogue and never resorted to violence. We fear that certain political forces are instigating some groups to carry out these attacks.”

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