In her discussions with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and others, Ms. Rao stressed that the incidents of killing of fishermen should be fully investigated and all steps taken to prevent their recurrence in future

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao conveyed in an “open and candid manner” to the Sri Lankan side the facts on the killing of two Indian fishermen in January in the Palk Bay, and the latter “agreed completely that violence should be avoided.”

“We have made it very clear to them based on what our fishermen have told us… and the investigations that have been conducted in Tamil Nadu… [What the fishermen told us] is that people in naval uniform have accosted our fishermen and the incidents [of killing] happened in that situation. So this is what we have ascertained from our side,” she said when asked about the killings and the reaction of the Sri Lankan side.

In her discussions with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and others, Ms. Rao stressed that the incidents of killing of fishermen should be fully investigated and all steps taken to prevent their recurrence in future. “I conveyed these concerns [on the killing of fishermen] to him [the Sri Lankan President] and he was very receptive. He agreed completely that violence should be avoided and that such incidents should not take place and he told me that the Sri Lankan side was conducting serious investigation in this matter,” she told presspersons at India House later.

Asked about the theory of a third force in the region that is being floated in Sri Lanka, she said: “I don’t have anything to say about it... We are proceeding on the information we have; what our fishermen have given to us. What we have with us, we have nothing to corroborate what the Sri Lankans have claimed [on the existence of a third force in the region].”