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Sri Lanka frees detained Indian fishermen

March 28, 2014

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka is releasing Indian fishermen detained for poaching to thank India for abstaining from a vote by the U.N.’s top human rights body to launch an investigation into alleged abuses during Sri Lanka’s civil war.

Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake says President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered the release of all Indian fishermen “as a gesture of good will in response to India’s stance” at the U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva.

Seventy-four Indian fishermen are held in Sri Lanka.

India abstained from voting Thursday when the council approved a U.S.-led resolution to launch an investigation into the civil war over the strong protests of Sri Lanka’s government.

Members of the 47-nation council voted 23 to 12 in favor of the resolution, with 12 abstentions, following a heated two-day debate.

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