SL and India fishermen call for resumption of dialogue
July 20, 2015 10:29 am
Leaders of Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen have called for a resumption of the conciliatory dialogue which has been deadlocked since April last, the Hindu newspaper reported.
“We appeal to the External Ministry to facilitate the resumption of dialogue between fishermen representatives immediately to find a lasting solution as early as possible,” said M. Ilango, Chairperson , National Fishworkers’ Forum.
W. Herman Kumara, convener of National Fisheries Solidarity Movement, Sri Lankan, said, “Talks should be commenced and at same time government should take the dialogue seriously. It should not drag any further. There should be immediate agreements respected by governments and fishermen on both sides.”
Explaining the reason behind the deadlock, Mr. Kumara contended that it was because Indian fishermen wanted to fish for 83 days in Sri Lankan waters each year for a period of three years. Though Sri Lanka had accepted it as a livelihood issue, the problem is that there has been not been a clear of indication of reduction of over-fishing from the Indian side, he said.
According to Mr. Kumara, around 2,000 boats cross the border from Mandapam and Rameswaram to the Sri Lankan side.
“When the trawlers come in, the nets and boats of Sri Lankan fishermen are affected. Fishermen on the northern Sri Lankan side are more concerned about their sustainability and resources. There are so many internal conflicts because of this,” he said.