Ranil insists Indian fishermen will not be given fishing rights

RanilPrime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today insisted that Indian fishermen will not be given fishing rights in Sri Lankan waters.

He made this announcement in Parliament today when the opposition questioned him about reports that Sri Lanka may allow Indian fishermen to fish in Sri Lankan waters.

“We will not allow Indian fishermen to catch fish in Sri Lankan waters as they wish,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that bottom trawling by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters is a serious issue.

He said this is affecting the livelihood of fishermen in the North and East as bottom trawling causes extensive damage to fishing resources.

The Prime Minister said that talks on seeking a solution to the Indo-Lanka fishing issue has been held between the Governments of Sri Lanka and India.

Wickremesinghe said several options are now being looked at to resolve the issue and he hopes a final solution to the issue will be reached by the end of this year.

“This issue cannot continue to drag,” the Prime Minister added.

He also said the Government will not return the boats seized from Indian fishermen which were seized when Indian fishermen were arrested for poaching. (Colombo Gazette)