Eighteen Indian fishermen were rescued by the Sri Lanka Navy when they were distressed in the seas off the Delf Island and Allathivu respectively after crossing into the Lankan waters for poaching.
Twelve fishermen were rescued along with three fishing trawlers in the Delft seas and another six were rescued along with their fishing trawler in the seas off Allathivu, Navy spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said.
“In spite of exaggerated allegations in the Indian media accusing the Navy of unleashing violence on Indian fishermen, it is the Sri Lanka Navy that has come to the rescue of the Indian fishermen during distress in Sri Lankan waters on many occasions,” he said.
The Navy has time and again saved the lives of Indian fishermen when they were in distress in Sri Lankan waters. The latest being the rescue of four Indian fishermen last Sunday in the seas off Delft Island.
SLNS Wasaba of the Northern Naval Command had initially come to the aid of the three Indian fishing trawlers sustaining engine and steering failure after it located them distressed and afterwards it completed the rescue and was taken to the anchorage.
The trawlers did not have any sonar equipment and the Navy only found out that they had GPS equipment in their trawlers. It is believed that these eleven fishermen are from Tamil Nadu along with their three trawlers.
Instances of Indian fishermen entering Sri Lankan waters have become frequent, causing problem for both governments mainly for allegedly poaching in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters.
Sri Lankan fishermen are also arrested by Indian authorities for crossing the Indian-Sri Lankan Maritime Boundary or if they are found stranded. (Supun Dias)