By P. Krishnaswamy
Following repeated protests and mounting complaints from fishermen in the North over the decade-long poaching by Indian fishermen and the continued detention in India of a large number of Sri Lankan fishermen, the Fisheries Ministry has redoubled its effort to sort out the issue through dialogue with the Indian Union Government and the Tamil Nadu State government.
While the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has recorded that he would be leaving for New Delhi shortly for a meeting with his Indian counterpart Sharad Pawar on the issues in question, the Fisheries Minister of the Northern Province B.Daniswaran has said that he too would visit India to hold discussions with the Tamil Nadu State government and representatives of Fishermen’s Associations.
Provincial Minister Deniswaran told the Sunday Observer that poaching is a ‘life and death issue’ for the Northern fishermen who returned to their profession four years ago after three decades of turbulence.
Unfortunately, poaching is continuing thus depriving them of their livelihood.
The fishermen in the North have repeatedly staged protests, he said.
They have also demanded the immediate release of fishermen who are under detention in India for having strayed into Indian territorial waters.