Fisheries Minister seeks report on alleged Indian fishermen attack

Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has sought a report on the alleged shooting incident involving Indian fishermen.

Amaraweera told the Colombo Gazette he does not believe the Navy was involved in the incident yet he has asked for a report from the Navy Commander and the Defence Secretary.

The Government said it was deeply concerned about the alleged shooting on Indian fishermen, and the connected loss of life of one fisherman and injury caused to another.

“The safety of fishermen is of utmost importance and the Government of Sri Lanka is firm in its commitment to ensuring that all Government agencies treat all Indian fishermen in a humane manner at all times,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry said initial investigations indicate that the Sri Lanka Navy is not involved in the alleged incident.

“Irrespective of the parties involved, if in fact a shooting has taken place, it is a matter of grave concern, and all possible action will be taken, in cooperation with the relevant Indian authorities, to investigate into this incident, utilizing GPS technology as well,” the Sri Lankan Government said.

The Government of India, meanwhile said it was deeply concerned at the killing of an Indian fisherman.

“Our High Commissioner to Sri Lanka has taken up the matter with the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Navy has promised a full and thorough investigation,” the Indian Foreign Ministry said.

The Navy today denied claims it opened fire on a group of Indian fishermen killing one and injuring another.

Indian media reported that the Sri Lankan Navy had allegedly shot dead a 21-year-old fisherman and injured some others when they opened fire on fishermen from Rameswaram, who allegedly poached in Sri Lankan waters on Monday night.

The fishermen who set out for ‘night fishing’ Monday evening, were fishing on the high seas around 10 pm, when the Sri Lankan Navy allegedly opened fire.

The deceased fisherman was identified as K. Britso (21) from Thangachimadam. He was one of the six fishermen onboard a mechanised boat targeted by the Sri Lankan Navy, reports said. Saran (37), the injured fisherman was rushed to the Government headquarters hospital in Ramanathapuram in an ambulance after the fishermen reached the fishing jetty here abour 20 minutes past midnight. (Colombo Gazette)

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