India, Sri Lanka To Revive Talks On Fishing

Sri Lanka on Tuesday accepted India’s request to revive talks between the fishing communities of the two countries, days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to the country.

Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Y K Sinha on Tuesday met Fisheries Minister Joseph Michael Perera and asked for the revival of talks between the representatives of the fishing communities.

“In talks today the Indian High Commissioner requested that talks be started around 12th of this month ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Colombo”, Perera told PTI. The Sri Lankan side asked the High Commissioner to meet with the Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran and religious leaders in the north, Perera added.

Sri Lankan fishermen have been complaining that since the advent of new government, the number of Indian fishermen breaching the country’s waters for illegal fishing has been increasing.

As many as 86 Indian fishermen were arrested and their 10 fishing boats seized by the Sri Lanka Navy for allegedly poaching in the country’s waters last month.

The talks between Sri Lanka and India on the fishermen issue was earlier scheduled for March 5. However, the talks were postponed at the request of Sri Lanka since the new government was busy with more urgent tasks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Sri Lanka on March 13.

President Maithripala Sirisena made his first overseas visit after being elected in January to New Delhi.
(with inputs from PTI)

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