UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa said he hoped that President Maithripala Sirisena would resolve the fishing crisis because the postponing of talks would affect the northern fishermen the most.
“Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi worked closely to resolve the Indo-Sri Lanka fishing crisis. I hope President Sirisena will find a lasting solution to it, but the postponing of talks will only affect the northern fishermen because their livelihood was badly affected during the war and are continuing to suffer because of the crisis,” Mr. Rajapaksa tweeted.
International media earlier reported that the Sri Lankan government would seek a postponement of the talks with representatives of both countries.
During President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent visit to India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised the need to resume talks between the fishing authorities of both countries.
Tamil Nadu fishermen suggested that the discussions be held on March 5. However, Sri Lanka has requested for a postponement.
“Our new government has prioritised its 100-day programme and as such so we do not have the time to work on this matter at the moment,” Fisheries Secretary Nimal Hettiarachchi told The Hindu.
The previous round of talks between fishermen of India and Sri Lanka, held in Colombo in May 2014 ended in a deadlock with Indian fishermen demanding three years to phase out trawling, a proposal that their Sri Lankan counterparts found unreasonable.