Tuesday, 25 March 2014 - 13:05
Risk of Indo - Sri Lanka Fishing discussions breaking down
The second phase of the Indo- Sri Lankan fisheries talks scheduled for today in Colombo is likely to be crippled as Indian participants did not attend the meeting.
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In order to facilitate the Colombo talks, Sri Lanka released 140 Indian fishermen from its custody recently.
However, after the release of 140 Indian fishermen, the navy had to arrest another 76 Indian fishermen with 18 fishing boats after they breached the agreement which the two countries signed during the first phase of talks in India last month and entered Sri Lankan maritime waters again.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha Jeyaram said that the 76 fishermen too should be released before talks begin in Colombo and the government also insisted that Jayalalitha’s demand cannot be made as her fishermen have been continuously violating Sri Lankan maritime boundaries.
Meanwhile local consultant of the Indo - Sri Lanka Fishermen Association S.P. Anthonymuttu said that representatives of Pondicherry also refused to attend the talks as Jayalalitha put much pressure on them.
Meanwhile Fisheries Department Director General Nimal Hetti Arachchi told our news team that Indian High Commission in Colombo conveyed Jayalalitha’s decision to the Fisheries Ministry.
Our news team also asked the Director General whether the talks would take place in the future despite the failure of talks today.