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Sri Lankan navy arrests eight Indian fishermen

Eight fishermen from Tamil Nadu were arrested and their two boats seized by the Sri Lankan Navy in separate incidents on Thursday for allegedly fishing in the island nation's territorial waters, fisheries department officials said.

Four fishermen each from Rameswaram and nearby Mandapam were arrested when they were allegedly fishing near Neduntheevu, the officials said.

The problem is that the Indian coastguard may not be actively patrolling the areas close to the Sri Lankan coast. All Indian fishing boats now have distinct colour and must have transponders and lights fit.

The fishermen were later taken to Karainagar port in Northern Sri Lanka, Assistant Directors of Fisheries in Rameswaram and Mandapam said.

The arrests came on a day when India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is visiting Colombo to participate in the two-day Indian Ocean Conference from today.

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