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Sri Lanka summons Indian diplomat over naval sailor’s loss of life 

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The loss of life of a Sri Lankan naval sailor has introduced a long-persisting fisheries battle between India and Sri Lanka into the highlight. File
| Photo Credit: L. Balachandar

Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairsnot too long ago summoned an official from the Indian High Commission in Colombo and voiced concern over the loss of life of a naval sailor, who was a part of a patrol unit that seized an Indian fishing vessel.

A senior Foreign Ministry official handed over a proper observe to the Indian diplomat, on the difficulty of persisting Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, particularly the bottom-trawling technique, and “indiscriminate poaching by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters”, in accordance with a information report printed within the Colombo-based Sunday Times newspaper.

Also learn: Net harm: On the fisheries dispute, India and Sri Lanka

An official supply informed The Hindu that the Indian official was summoned to the Ministry on Friday.

“It was mainly to convey concern from the Sri Lankan side,” the supply stated, requesting anonymity.

The problem was reportedly raised in New Delhi too, when Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India Kshenuka Senewiratne known as on External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on June 25.

In the wee hours of the identical day, a sailor from the Sri Lankan Navy was killed in an operation concentrating on Indian fishermen and their fishing vessel off Kankesanthurai within the Jaffna peninsula, within the island’s nation’s Northern Province. However, neither official talked about discussing this of their updates on the social media platform ‘X’ quickly after the assembly.

In a media assertion final week, the Sri Lankan Navy attributed the deadly mid-sea incident to “aggressive manoeuvres of an Indian trawler” that “resisted” apprehension by the patrol unit.

As many as 10 Indian fishermen, seven from Nagapattinam, one from Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, and two others from Andhra Pradesh, had been arrested on prices of unlawful fishing. Their fishing trawler was confiscated.

Long-persisting battle

The growth has introduced the long-persisting fisheries battle within the Palk Strait again into the highlight. Disregarding the relentless demand of Sri Lanka’s northern fishermen that their Indian counterparts cease utilizing the harmful bottom-trawling technique of fishing, the fishermen from India have continued with the follow for years.

Also learn:The Palk Bay fisheries battle: A story of competing livelihoods and a depleted catch

Meanwhile, northern Sri Lankan fishermen have blamed the governments of Sri Lanka and India for failing to work out a sturdy answer to the enduring drawback, which has put their livelihoods underneath extreme strain.

They have additionally been demanding the resumption of talks between representatives of fishermen’s organisations from each side.

“Both governments have a responsibility in implementing the agreement reached by both sides in 2016 when the Foreign Ministers of both countries met in Delhi. They agreed to end the practice of bottom-trawling at the earliest. Instead of taking that effort forward, some actors are trying to politicise this issue,” stated Annalingam Annarasa, who leads a Jaffna-based fisheries cooperative society.

Also learn: Also learn: It is essential to renew talks with Tamil Nadu counterparts, say northern Sri Lankan fishing group leaders

Following the 2016 bilateral assembly and settlement India and Sri Lanka arrange a Joint Working Group to resolve the issue of Indian fishermen continuously dealing with arrest for unlawful fishing in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters. The Group final met in 2022.

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