SRI LANKA: DEATH FOR FIVE INDIAN FISHERMEN
October 30, 2014: The Colombo High Court awarded the death sentence to five Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy in November 2011 on drug trafficking charges.
P. Emerson, P. Augustus, R. Wilson, K. Prasath, and J. Lanklet from Rameswaram spent nearly a year in prison in Jaffna and were later taken to the Welikada prison in Colombo, said sources in the Indian consulate in Jaffna.
The fishermen were charged with smuggling heroin into northern Sri Lanka, an allegation they have strongly denied.
Three Sri Lankan fishermen were also sentenced to death on the same charges.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksaâs announcement ahead of his visit to India in May 2014 on the release of âall Indian fishermenâ in Sri Lankan custody as a âgoodwill gestureâ had brought hope to those arrested.
The only Indian fishermen detained then were those arrested on charges of drug trafficking. However, they were not released and Sri Lankan government sources later said the Presidentâs announcement did not pertain to them.Â Â (Sources: thehindu.com, 31/10/2014)