New Delhi: Sri Lanka has said it will soon release the 23 Indian fishermen taking into custody for fishing in Sri Lankan waters.
"Following the due process of the law, they are expected to be released at an early date," a Sri Lankan High Commission statement here said.
"The fishermen are being treated in a humane manner, respecting their dignity.
"The relevant authorities in Sri Lanka expect to repatriate the fishermen and the boats as soon as the judicial process is completed."
The fishermen from Tamil Nadu were caught on June 20 while allegedly engaged in trawling in Sri Lankan territorial waters, the statement said. Their vessels were also detained.
It said the incident occurred close to Mannar, off the Pesalai coast, just six nautical miles away from the Sri Lankan shores.
The arrests were not made near the island of Kachchativu, which has become a bone of contention between Tamil Nadu authorities and Colombo, it said.
The Sri Lankan Navy was quoted as saying that although Global Positioning Systems were installed in the trawlers, the fishermen were in the Sri Lankan waters.