Mathai raises the issue of TN fishermen with Lanka

Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai had called on Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa, in Chennai, prior to his visit.

Colombo: Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai
on Thursday met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and raised
the issue of frequent attacks on fishermen from Tamil Nadu
during his talks with authorities here underlining that there
was no room for violence.

Ending his three-day visit to the Island, Mathai said that
he had taken up the issue of fishermen with the Lankan

He was told that Lankan navy were not involved in the
attacks and that the navy was under strict instructions not to
attack Indian fishermen.

In Jaffna where he travelled yesterday, local officials
made a presentation on how local fishermen were suffering due
to alleged poaching by Indian fishermen in their waters.
Mathai told them that since the issue was one of
livelihood there was no room for violence.

Representatives of the fishermen of the two sides should
meet for talks to thrash out the issues, he said.
The Foreign Secretary said that he suggested deep sea
fishing as means to prevent clashes between the fishermen of
the two countries.

Mathai had called on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
Jayalalithaa, in Chennai, prior to his visit here.

Jayalalithaa had conveyed to Mathai her serious
concern over increasing attacks, 16 such incidents since May,
on Tamil Nadu fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy.

Meanwhile, Mathai said that President Rajapaksa told him
that parallel to his talks with Tamil National Alliance (TNA)
on the devolution for Tamil regions, the parliamentary select
committee process would be persisted with.


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