As fresh cases of alleged violence against Indian fishermen come to light, India and Sri Lanka have started to contemplate joint patrolling along the international maritime boundary between the two nations to prevent any such incident. Sources said that the proposal for joint patrolling by Indian and Sri Lankan navies will be discussed at length during the next meeting of the joint working group on fisheries which is expected to be held soon.
In fact, the meeting was slated to take place last week but was postponed. The matter was taken up by Indian foreign secretary Ranjai Mathai, during his three-day visit to Sri Lanka which ended on Monday. Prior to his visit to the island nation, Mathai had a meeting with Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa who raised the issue of the recent assault on 15 Indian fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy.
Sources said that the two sides will discuss another proposal to form a supervisory committee comprising members of both the navies and representatives of fishermen from the two sides. "Both these proposals will be discussed in the next meeting. Joint patrolling by the Sri Lankan navy and either Indian navy or Coast Guard in the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Bay can help address the concerns of Indian fishermen," said an official.
Mathai also raised India's concerns in his meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa but Sri Lankan authorities categorically denied the role of any navy personnel in the latest assault case. Mathai later said that there was no place for violence in dealing with a matter which was essentially about livelihood.
Sources said that Sri Lanka was in favour of having joint patrolling by the two countries to end attacks on fishermen. The Tamil Nadu Congress has in the past called for joint patrolling but the matter was laid to rest after a pause in the attacks. The latest incident, however, seems to have spurred the two sides to actively consider joint patrolling. (Source: Times of India)
Comments - 1
citizen Friday, 14 October 2011 06:10 AM
good move and a good decision
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