Indian, Sri Lankan fishermen to meet to sort out issues

By
| Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 20:52
First Published |
Sri Lankan fishermen

Colombo: Fishermen's associations of India and Sri Lanka will meet in Chennai next week to resolve the vexed issue of violation the maritime boundary and invading each other's waters.

The talks between the fishermen's associations of Sri Lanka and India are to be held in Chennai on March 24 and 25, the Minister of Home Affairs and Fisheries, Joseph Michael Pereram has said.

A 16-member Sri Lankan team, comprising 10 leaders of fishermen and six officials, will be participating in the talks.

The Sri Lankan team will include fishermen leaders from Mannar, Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee and Kilinochchi along with fisheries officials, Colombo Page reported.

This will be the third time the fishermen's associations of the two countries are meeting to find a solution to the issue of fishing in the Palk Strait and Palk Bay.

Representatives of the fishermen's associations in Sri Lanka and India met previously on two occasions - first on January 27, 2014 in Chennai and later on May 12, 2014 in Colombo - to find out a solution to share the resources in the seas between the two countries.

Sri Lankan fishermen say the Indian fishermen trespassing into the Sri Lankan waters and using destructive fishing practices is not acceptable.

However, Indian fishermen and the Tamil Nadu government are of the view that the waters around Katchatheevu Island and in Palk Bay are their "traditional fishing grounds" that the Sri Lankan fishermen should share.

During his visit to Sri Lanka earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena discussed the fishermen issue and agreed that the complex issue involves livelihood and humanitarian concerns on both sides and should be handled from that perspective.

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