Fisheries Minister, Douglas Devananda who was in the midst of controversy last week for allegedly claiming that Indian fishermen would be granted permission to fish in Sri Lankan waters has denied the claims stating that the present solution to resolve the Indo-Lanka fishing issue was to arrest the Indian fishermen.
In an interview with Daily Mirror, Devananda said he was even willing to go to the extent of going out to sea himself to stop the Indian fishermen from entering Sri Lankan waters and especially engaging in bottom trawling which he said was destroying the sea beds.
"The claim that I will grant permits to Indian fishermen to fish in our seas is false. This was only an idea that came to me and not a decision. Presently I have informed the Navy to continue arresting all Indian fishermen who enter our waters and I will not tolerate any form of bottom trawling," Devananda said.
"Whatever ideas which will be implemented will first be discussed with the local fishermen and fishermen organisations. No decision will be taken without consulting them. Even the fishermen are confident that I will not take any decision without consulting them. Many people are misusing my words and making me look like a killer and murderer. But I am not like that," the Minister added. (JAMILA HUSAIN)