India takes up fishermen’s issue with Sri Lanka

India said Monday that it has taken up with Sri Lanka the issue of its fishermen who often bear the brunt of the neighboring island nation’s naval forces in the high seas.

Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony said that the country’s government has urged Sri Lanka to direct its navy to act with restraint and not to fire on Indian fishermen sailing along the International Maritime Boundary Line.

“The government continues to remain engaged with the government of Sri Lanka to ensure that fishermen on both sides can continue to pursue their livelihood in a safe, secure and sustainable manner,” he told the Indian parliament.

The defense minister added “From time to time, there have been reports of attacks and apprehensions on Indian fishermen near the International Maritime Boundary Line. As soon as reports of attacks on Indian fishermen are received, the government, through diplomatic channels, takes up the matter with the Sri Lankan authorities.”

Recently, there were media reports of Sri Lankan navy capturing 19 Indian fishermen who were later released following intervention of the Indian government. (Xinhua)