Chennai: At the third round of bilateral talks between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen held here on Tuesday, the Indian fishermen gave a seven point plea including nod to fish in the island nation territory for 83 days in a year which their Lankan counterparts said they would consider.
After the third round of bilateral talks, which went on for a marathon nine hours, both sides said the talks were "very satisfactory and cordial."
S P Sathasivam, representing National Fishermen Maha Sammelanam of Sri Lanka, told reporters after the meet that the representation of Indian fishermen will be considered at a high level conference in his country in the first week of next month.
"Fishing Representatives of the North Eastern province, Tamil MPs and members of the North Eastern Provincial Council will be participating in the meet.
"A final decision on the plea of Indian fishermen will be communicated in May to both governments for further processes and action," he said.
Indian fishermen travelled up to the North Eastern region of Srilanka to fish which was ravaged by war for 30 years, and where more fishing activity was being witnessed, he pointed out.
Stating that arguments were put forth by both sides, he said there have been areas of convergence.
"There is no need to disclose that now itself, a final decision will be taken in the meet next month and it will be communicated based on which further action will happen," Sathasivam said.
Stressing that they do not agree to the use of trawlers by Indian fishermen in Lankan waters, he said fishing happened at an organised and regulated fashion in Sri Lanka.
"Pair-trawling and purse seine nets and [bottom] trawler boats are banned in Sri Lanka. However, Indian fishermen carry on with such things and hence these matters need to be discussed at our meet and only then could we arrive at a decision," he said.
Appealing to Indian media to report factually, he said, "When Indian fishermen were arrested in Sri Lankan waters, we see Indian media reporting that they were apprehended for fishing in Katchatheevu, it is very regretful."