The Sri Lanka Navy today denied reports that Chinese navy personnel had been spotted in Sri Lankan navy vessels near the Katchatheevu Island in the northern sea of Sri Lanka.
“There is no such thing. We are not carrying any outsiders except our sailors and officers on board Navy Vessels,” Navy Spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya told Daily Mirror online.
He also denied reports that it has deployed more than half a dozen naval vessels near Katchatheevu islet. “We are conducting normal patrolling in the Katchathivu sea, other than that there is no such increase of vessels in the area, as claimed,” he said.
On Saturday India’s MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Saturday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure the immediate removal of Sri Lankan naval vessels from Katchatheevu Island.
In a letter to Singh, Vaiko said there were reports that Chinese vessels and Chinese navy personnel in Sri Lankan vessels had been spotted in the Palk Strait that divides India and Sri Lanka.
In another media report today said that Sri Lankan Navy has deployed more than ten petrolling vessels around the islet.
However speaking to The Times of India an Indian fisheries official advised the fishermen not to panic nor spread panic "We cannot ascertain the Sri Lankan presence. But we have strictly instructed fishermen not to venture beyond IMBL and advised them not to spread such unconfirmed information about Katchatheevu," a fishery official in Rameswaram said.(DM oinline)