Sri Lankan fishermen want resumption of talks
September 2, 2015 11:39 pm
Maintaining that Indian fishermen were arrested by Sri Lankan Navy only when they fished deep into the island territory, a Sri Lankan fishermen leader today urged both nations to hold talks to resolve the issue of fishing rights in the Palk Strait.
Sri Lankan Tamil Fishermen’s Association President Emilia Pillai claimed that the Sri Lankan Navy would not arrest them if they fished near Katchativu in the Palk Strait, only when they come “too deep into our territory” and fish in the sea near Nedunthivu, they are detained.
He charged the Tamil Nadu fishermen were lying by saying that they were fishing near Katchatheevu, an islet ceded by India to Sri Lanka in the 1970s.
Not only that, the fishermen from Tamil Nadu “damaged” the fishing nets and other equipment of their Lankan counterparts who end up without fish as too many Indian boats come to their territory, Pillai told PTI over phone from Vadamarachi, Neduntheevu.
He suggested that the Indian and Sri Lankan governments should talk again on the issue and the Indian fishermen should be warned against fishing in Sri Lankan territory.
Talks held earlier in both Chennai and Colombo to find a solution to the dispute over fishing in the Palk Strait have failed.
Tamil Nadu fishermen insist that they were only fishing in their traditional areas.
Pillai also said the Sri Lankan fishermen would hold a meeting on September 4 to discuss the issue.