South Asia

Sri Lanka says no to India's fishing proposal

Sri Lankan and Indian fishing organisations have held several rounds of discussions to sort out the long-pending dispute.  

Sri Lanka on Tuesday rejected India’s proposal to allow its fishermen to catch fish in Lankan waters for 65 days a year, in what can further escalate tensions between the two neighbours over the issue.

“Not 65 days, we will not agree for even 65 hours,” Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.

Speaking in the southern port town of Galle, the minister said that the Lankan government had refused to agree to India’s proposal of allowing Indian fishermen to catch fish for 65 days a year in Lankan waters in its bid to resolve the fishing issue, a major irritant in bilateral ties.

Sri Lankan and Indian fishing organisations have held several rounds of discussions to sort out the long-pending dispute.

Both sides claim it is a livelihood issue which needs to be resolved soon.

Sri Lankan side has also taken strong exception to bottom trawling by Indian counterparts.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Island Nation in March, he had discussed the fishermen’s issue with Lankan President Sirisena.

“This complex issue involves livelihood and humanitarian concerns on both sides. We should handle it from this perspective. At the same time, we need to find a long-term solution to this issue,” he said in remarks that assumed significance following Lankan premier Ranil Wikcremasinghe’s controversial statement earlier that intruding Indian fishermen would be shot by Sri Lankan Navy.

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Printable version | May 19, 2021 6:12:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/sri-lanka-says-no-to-indias-fishing-proposal/article7247914.ece

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