PM says issue of fishermen will be taken up with Lanka

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India takes a "very serious view" of the Sri Lankan Navy apprehending 118 Indian fishermen and would be taking up the matter with the Lankan government.

Updated: Feb 16, 2011, 19:19 PM IST

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said India takes a "very serious view" of the Sri Lankan
Navy apprehending 118 Indian fishermen and would be taking up
the matter with the Lankan government.

Singh said the Sri Lankan government has already been
told in strong terms that such a behaviour was not acceptable.

"I have been told that 118 fishermen have been taken
into custody. We are taking up this matter with the Sri Lankan
Government. We take a very serious view," he said in an
interaction with television editors here.
The Prime Minister was responding to a question about
the fishermen being apprehended by Sri Lankan authorities
yesterday after they allegedly crossed over into their waters.

The arrest comes close on the heels of the killing of
two Indian fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy.
Singh pointed out that Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao
was sent earlier this month to Colombo to "make a strong
demarche to the Sri Lankan Government that this sort of
behaviour is not acceptable among neighbourly countries."

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had on February 1
said use of force against Indian fishermen should be part of
the history and asked Sri Lanka to take a decision that will
not upset the bilateral ties.

A meeting of the Indo-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group on
the issue is likely to be held this month to discuss the
recent killing of the Indian fishermen threadbare.

PTI