April 23rd, 2012
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Lankan minister to lead protest group of 5,000 fishermen to India

Douglas-DevanandaColombo: A Sri Lankan minister Douglas Devananda has threatened to lead protest group of 5,000 fishermen to India to send a strong message across to its Indian neighbour against poaching by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters as it negatively affects the livelihood of Sri Lankan fishermen.

“The Indians enter Sri Lankan waters illegally in large trawlers and engage in large scale fishing. This not only affects the livelihood of Sri Lankan fishermen in the north but it also has an impact on our fishing resources. To stop this we have decided to launch a protest,” Devananda said in a statement.

The minister said that though the Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen have been meeting frequently to address the issue no concrete solution could be arrived at. According to him, Indian fishermen continue to enter Sri Lankan waters illegally to catch fish and so he has decided to take some 1,000 boats and 5,000 fishermen by sea to Rameshwaram in India to press the government there to stop the practice.

The Sri Lankan minister also noted that having meetings between fishermen from both countries to address this issue will not suffice and instead both Indian and Sri Lankan governments must also have direct talks on the issue.The minister had also recently called for joint patrolling between India and Sri Lanka along the international maritime boundary line of both countries.



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