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SL seeks innocent passage via Indian territorial waters to enter Arabian Sea

6 July 2023 06:14 am - 15     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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*It saves 400 nautical miles for SL multi-day fishing vessels

*Prez to discuss matter when visiting New Delhi

*India extended US $ 4 billion financial assistance during economic crisis

Sri Lanka will seek fresh diplomatic engagements with India to secure what is termed ‘an innocent passage’ through its territorial waters for Sri Lankan fishermen to enter the Arabian Sea for multi-day fisheries, a minister said.

Currently, Sri Lankan multi- day fishing vessels taking to the sea from areas like Negambo, Dikovita, Beruwila and Matara voyage around the Maldives to reach the Arabian Sea. However, a passage through India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will save them 400 nautical miles. There are instances in which Sri Lankan fishermen get arrested by the Indian Coast Guard when they unlawfully enter India’s EEZ on the way to the Arabian Sea.

India – Sri Lanka bilateral relations have reached new heights after India extended humanitarian assistance during the economic crisis. The amount of financial assistance extended by India is nearly US $ 4 billion. It included a US $ 1 billion credit line offered to purchase essential food items and pharmaceuticals. Sri Lanka is now planning to secure this passage using the goodwill between the two countries.

Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda told Daily Mirror that the government is to ask for India’s support to secure a passage through its EEZ for Sri Lankan fishing vessels.

“It will be discussed when President Ranil Wickremesinghe visits New Delhi later this month,” he said.

Asked about unlawful fishing in the Sri Lankan waters by fishermen from the southern part of India, the minister said it continues unabated and the government is trying to resolve it through diplomatic means.

“We are planning to get it resolved through diplomatic means. When President Wickremesinghe visits New Delhi, he is planning to discuss it . Besides, we need to brief Tamil Nadu people about our fisheries issue. We are planning to arrange a visit by a group of Tamil MPs from the north to Tamil Nadu to brief the chief minister, the opposition leader and others concerned that bottom trawling by their fishermen has affected the livelihood of our fishermen. Otherwise, it is not an issue involving the Sri Lankan Navy and Tamil Nadu fishermen. In Tamil Nadu, perception is that the Sri Lankan Navy creates problems for their fishermen,” he said.

Responding to a query about the damage done to fishing gear of the local fisheries community because of bottom trawling, he said it had been estimated at Rs.700 million for the last five years.

“The impact of denial of livelihood for local fishermen can even be higher. When they (South Indian fishermen) net a kilo of shrimps from Sri Lankan waters using illegal fishing methods, there is a by-catch of 18 kilos. The damage in terms of by catch is immeasurable,” he said. (Kelum Bandara)


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  Comments - 15

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  • Geeta Thursday, 06 July 2023 07:32 AM

    But you guys blame and abuse for every wrong that happens SL ! Isn't it. You don't want Indian tourist, you don't want Indian medicine , you don't want Indian credit lines but you want Indian fuel, money ....

    Hadam Thursday, 06 July 2023 12:45 PM

    Well said.

    Johnson Thursday, 06 July 2023 09:01 AM

    Come on there is nothing innocent about this when you are hand in glove with the Chinese. Your strong Navy keeps arresting the Indian fishermen around the Northern peninsula. Now suddenly you have become innocent. Also Douglas is a wanted criminal in Tamil Nadu...

    BuffaloaCitizen Thursday, 06 July 2023 09:13 AM

    Becareful India, the leaders of SL are those who once allowed refueling of Pakistan Aircraft during the Bangladesh war, allowed Chinese Nuclear Submarines into H'tota without observing the sensitivity to India, sold the soveriegnity of H'tota Port to China for 99y.

    Kamal Thursday, 06 July 2023 09:47 AM

    You are an Anti Sri Lankan low life, using a Sri Lankan paper to support India against Sri Lanka. Like your cousin Summanthiran MP you are Indian estate Christian Tamil with a little connection to Jaffna. You fellows should have been kicked out from Sri Lanka back to the slums of India decades Zshp

    Shan Thursday, 06 July 2023 10:11 AM

    Spot on!

    BuffaloaCitizen Thursday, 06 July 2023 04:59 PM

    @Kamal all what you have assumed of me is wrong. I am a true patriotic Sri Lankan not a pseudo like you. Fact, slums are reducing in India and more are growing in Sri Lanka, all due to ignorant sycophant's like you and your elected Leaders.

    Citizen Lanka Thursday, 06 July 2023 12:07 PM

    Unfortunately time and again Sri Lankan politicians and citizens have gained help from India BUT when the time came to repay in kind it was paid back in treachery. Anything India did with good intentions be it tourism, supply of medicine, donate food at the hour of need was viewed with suspicious eyes by us. How can we now talk about innocent passage of our fishing vessels within Indian territorial waters?

    Mahila Friday, 07 July 2023 07:02 AM

    Only 15 to 16 years ago the Messiah played India against China for his selfish gain and win elections!!! Now innocent!!! Make believe??? Why don't you continue your 'ramshackle', way as before, slam the favourite TOILET NADU Syndrome!!!??? Butter won't melt in that mouth??? Self-Serving Sychopants!!?? You all want to regain the "Innocence", lost last 72 years!!??

    Lanka Prasad Thursday, 06 July 2023 01:34 PM

    According to Article 17 of the Law of the Sea Convention, (applicable to both India

    Punchi Thursday, 06 July 2023 02:21 PM

    The Sri Lankans take great delight in offending India, but they go cap in hand to India begging. The Indians are so stupid they keep being taken advantage off. Eventually we will con India like we have done to Bangladesh- sayanora to its USD200 million

    Kandy Thursday, 06 July 2023 03:32 PM

    India is slowly strangling SL at a crisis time, just like China did. India is pouring loans in billions of USDs for various unwanted projects. Who wanted improvements to Northern railway line, why Indian made jeeps to SL Police

    Victor Friday, 07 July 2023 04:11 AM

    Maybe you don't but we need to improve the Northern Railway. Every project in Sri Lanka depends on the donations from other countries specially India and China. At least be grateful and sincere rather than blame..

    Mahila Saturday, 08 July 2023 01:24 PM

    Kandy, You are typical KGB (‘Kandyan Goigama Buddhist’), deflecting issue - speaking untruth, convolute masses for self-serving purpose!!!?? What “unwanted Indian Funded” Projects?? Seem prefers Indian Rice, Dhal?? Your ‘UNWANTED’ projects, may be what North wants!!!??your deception, projects focussed North SL, isn’t IT!!?? Could imagine your dilemma!!?? Your concept preferentially focus, Southern SL – KGB benefit!? Has been ‘SAD CASE’, since Independence 72 years ago?? Learn to Share equally common wealth? Big CHUNK FOR South SL since 2004, has been devoured by the Messiah – HPP, Mattala Airport, E02 Project and leaving only Kandy Expressway outside!!! Medamulana became TOP RUNNER!!?? Your grouse against Indian Credit Line, Aid/Grant because KGB has lost the Limelight!!!??? We understand your anguish, but isn’t Justifiable or logical, long deprived the North too long!!?? North should have their TURN TOO!!!

    Tissa Fernando Saturday, 08 July 2023 04:43 AM

    Indians think they have done great to help Sri Lanka. It is the opposite. Indian government has manipulated the activities in Sri Lsnka, they were not happy when Chineese started building roads and infrastructure. India sold low grade trains to Sri Kanka using corrupt politicians. Indians are robbing all the fish from from Sri Lankan waters. Indians were not happy for Sri Lanka to win the World Cup cricket in 1996 , we saw their behaviour on that day.


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