India-Sri Lanka fishermen talks end amicably

Chennai, Jan 27: Talks on fishing rights held between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen concluded amicably Monday evening, the fishermen’s representatives said.

The decisions taken at the meeting, however, would have to be approved by the two governments.

U. Arulanandam from Tamil Nadu and T. Sadasivam from Sri Lanka told reporters after the meeting that the resolutions passed during the talks will be sent to the two governments for further action.

Fishermen from both countries began the discussion in the morning to arrive at a consensus on fishing rights in the Palk Strait and also on putting an end to attacks on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.

Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister K.A. Jayapal presided over the meeting. It was attended by Suchitra Durai, joint secretary in the ministry of external affairs and Nimal Hettiarachchi, director general in the department of fisheries and aquatic resources of Sri Lanka.

Sabarullah Khan, Sri Lanka’s deputy high commissioner here, also participated in the talks.

On Jan 25, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said that during the talks, the state’s fishermen would stress their traditional fishing rights in the Palk Strait and also on fishing by both the countries on a mutual cooperation basis.

Representatives of the Tamil Nadu fishermen would suggest mutually agreeable sustainable fishing practices in the Palk Strait.

The fishermen would also urge Sri Lanka to avoid arrest and detention of Indian fishermen and their boats as agreed to during earlier talks.

Jayalalithaa said the centre has been informed that the resolutions/decisions taken at the meeting will be implemented only after its consent.

According to fishermen who took part in the talks, another meeting will be held next month in Colombo to give final touches to the demands.

IANS