Written by Bella Dalima
15 Nov, 2014 | 8:09 pm
Twenty Sri Lankan fishermen who were in the custody of Bangladeshi authorities were released on Saturday. The released men were a group of fishermen who had set out to sea aboard the vessels Sanjana 2, Kanthi 10, Raja 7 and Chaminda 6.
The group of fishermen were arrested by the Bangladesh Authorities on October 17.
Subsequent to their release, the fishermen expressed the following views to News1st via telephone:
[quote]Our vessels were caught in the Hud Hud storm. In order to save our lives and vessels, we obtained permission from the Government of Myanmar and 42 vessels that went out to sea. We reached Myanmar and changed course to Sri Lanka 50 miles away from the island. When we were coming back we were caught in another storm. Thereafter, we were arrested. They lied to us saying that we will be set free in the morning and that they will give us more fuel and other materials.[/quote]
[quote]The prisons in Bangladesh are very difficult to stay in. Any individual will be destroyed inside the Bangladeshi prisons. There is no water to bathe. There are only four small water basins. If you bathe in the afternoon, the jailers beat us. There is no cleanliness at all. There are other issues too, there is no place to sleep. If you have money you can arrange for something. That is how life is there[/quote]
[quote]I have never faced such an experience in my life. Some people were going to the extreme of suicide. That’s how extreme the conditions were. You only have water and rice as food. When we were in Sri Lanka, we had everything.[/quote]
Acting Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Bangladesh A.G. Abeysekera speaking News1st said that once the Bangladeshi authorities give the green light, the Sri Lankan fishermen will be sent home.
Acting Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Bangladesh, A.G. Abeysekere shared these views:
[quote]We need a court order from Bangladesh to send the group and vessels back home. These two matters are pending. We need permission from the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs. Once permission is granted they will be sent back to the country.[/quote]
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