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Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan today said the Centre has taken up with Sri Lanka, the issue of the release of nine Tamil Nadu fishermen and 115 boats in the island nation’s custody. “We have taken up the issue of the release of nine Tamil Nadu fishermen in Sri Lankan prison and 115 boats in their custody,” he said. He was speaking to reporters in Dhanushkodi, near here after inspecting the newly laid 9.5 km long road, stretching from Mukuntharayar Chathiram to Arichalmunai near here, for the convenience of hundreds of pilgrims visiting this island.
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On the emotive fishermen’s issue, he said the November 4 talks between the two governments were fruitful. As decided in that meeting, a Joint Working Group (JWG) on Fisheries would be set up to meet every three months. A meeting between the Ministers of Fisheries every six months on possible mechanisms to find a permanent solution to the emotive issue of fishermen will also be held, he said.
On the proposed construction of a bridge between Rameswaram and Thalaimannar in the Island nation, he said India was willing to proceed if Sri Lanka agreed to it. Earlier, he visited the house of former president A P J Abdul Kalam in Rameswaram and sought the blessings of his elder brother Mohammed Muthumeeran Maraikayar, who turned 100 recently.