Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa declared on Thursday that the next round of talks between fishermen of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka would be held only after all fishermen from the State and their boats were released by Colombo. Of the 177 fishermen apprehended and 44 boats confiscated, Sri Lanka had released only 116 fishermen and 26 boats, she said at an election meeting at Kangeyam.
While the second round of talks scheduled for March 13 in Colombo was called off, Sri Lanka confirmed that the talks would now be held on March 25. “The Indian side made a request for March 18, but since I had already scheduled my election campaign around that time, we suggested March 25 and they [the Indian government] have agreed,” Sri Lankan Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne told The Hindu. India’s External Affairs Ministry also indicated that an appropriate environment had been created for the next round of talks.