The Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan on Monday expressed concern over the recent statement of Sri Lankan Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne about the conditions for the release of Indian fishermen and termed it as one-sided statement.
Mr. Senaratne told The Hindu on Sunday that all the 275 Indian fishermen will be released only after India sends back all its fishermen including 34 in Andhra Pradesh.
Talking to reporters, Mr. Vasan said that such statements would only vitiate the atmosphere before the much-awaited talks between the fishermen of two nations scheduled for January 20.
While terming the statement by the Fisheries Minister as ‘unfortunate’, Mr. Vasan asked the political leaders and officials to refrain from making such statements as everyone was interested in bringing back home the fishermen and their boats immediately and safely.
“It is an important issue and it should be resolved through talks, for which we have to create a conducive atmosphere. We are taking steps to see that it does not happen in future. The External Affairs Ministry would announce about those participating in the dialogue,” he said.