Colombo: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramesinghe here on Saturday amid New Delhi's concern over the latter's remark on Tamilian fishermen.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) earlier in the day said the External Affairs Minister would raise the fishermen issue with her counterpart in Colombo as well as Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, adding that this is a humanitarian and emotive issue which requires longer term solutions.
"The External Affairs Minister will certainly take up this matter today as part of her discussions, both with her Sri Lankan counterpart and with the Sri Lankan Prime Minister. The issue of Indian fishermen is an issue that India and Sri Lanka have discussed together on several occasions in the past," MEA official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told ANI here.
"It is a humanitarian issue, an emotive issue and this is an issue of livelihood. This is an issue which requires longer term solutions. There are no quick-fix solutions to this. We intend to work with our Sri Lankan interlocutors to ensure that both India and Sri Lanka are able to work together on this matter," he added.
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister had earlier on Friday said that his government was willing to make a 'reasonable deal' with India with respect to the fishing rights, adding that the law creates provisions for a man to 'shoot' an intruder in his home.
Earlier today, Swaraj held delegation-level talks with her counterpart Mangala Samaraweera here.
Swaraj, who is presently in Colombo to prepare the agenda for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the island-nation, earlier in the day paid homage to the brave soldiers of the Indian Army at the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) Memorial here.
Swaraj is likely to meet leaders of the TNA and SLMC between 2.45 p.m. and 3.40 p.m.
At 3.40 p.m. the visiting External Affairs Minister is expected to meet representatives of Indian origin Tamils for about 20 minutes, and thereafter is expected to meet representatives of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and the Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka for another 20 minutes.
Swaraj is expected to call on the Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament at his residence at around 5.10 p.m.
She will then depart for India from the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo at around 5.30 p.m.
Earlier on Friday, Swaraj was received at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo by Sri Lankan Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Pathmakanpha Perera.