This refers to the report “Colombo will try Indian fishermen” (Aug. 19). While it is the right of Sri Lanka to try the 100-odd Tamil Nadu fishermen who crossed into its territorial waters, one also has to see whether they did it deliberately or otherwise. Most fishermen are illiterate and venture into the rough seas in pitch darkness for the sake of making a livelihood. There is nothing wrong if a lenient view is taken after confirming their identity. In fact, there are times when Sri Lankan fishermen also cross into Indian waters. In the end, it is better for the political parties in Tamil Nadu not to raise the issue for their own opportunistic gains and instead leave the matter to be settled by the governments of India and Sri Lanka.

B. Harish, New Delhi

Does India have a strong foreign policy? Even countries like Sri Lanka seem to be taking us for granted. Though it may be a sovereign country, it is bound by the repatriation agreement signed with India. Indian fishermen are not smugglers or terrorists. The sea boundary is not clearly demarcated and defined. Therefore, it is only natural that our fishermen sometimes cross the boundary and enter Sri Lankan waters. It is a pity that India is almost always never able to speak up for its nationals.

T. Anand Raj, Chennai

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