45 fishermen return from India

Lankan Dy. HC refutes fishermen claim of not visiting them while in detention

Forty Five more Sri Lankan fishermen held captive in India returned to the Island yesterday morning, a Fisheries Ministry official said. With the return of these 45 fishermen, there were 19 more Lankan fishermen still held captive in India, of who, cases were pending against six.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, V. Krishnamoorthy told the Sunday Times that despite the claim by some of the returning fishermen that they were not visited by the Mission while in detention, all efforts were made to visit such persons.

He said that whenever they have information about such detentions they visit them. A group of fishermen who returned to the island earlier told the Sunday Times last week that, despite informing the Mission in Chennai, they were not visited by any of the representatives.

Overseas employment tops foreign earnings

Remittances from migrant workers, the bulk of who are in West Asia (Middle East), rose last year to US$ 4.1 billion, up 23.6% from US$ 3.3 billion in 2009, according to final 2010 figures of foreign earnings released by the Central Bank.

However, earnings from Industrial Exports, mainly Textiles and Garments, rose marginally by 7% to US$ 3.5 billion, from US$ 3.2 billion in 2009. The Garments sector last year was affected by the mid-year absence of GSP+ concessions from the EU.

The Central Bank said that, while earnings from Exports rose by 17.3% to US$ 8.3 billion in 2010, the highest annual value so far in history, expenditure on Imports increased by 32.4% to US$ 13.5 billion, the Trade Deficit ballooned to US$ 5.2 billion in 2010, from US$ 3.1 billion in 2009, up sharply by over 66%.

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