COLOMBO: The issue of poaching along the international waters between Srilanka and India has yet again surfaced with the Srilankan authorities arresting six Indian fishermen. There has been a growing demand from both countries to bring a remedy for the age old issue.
Accordingly, the Srilankan authorities have proposed to start a joint patrolling system from both the Indian and Srilankan authorities to prevent the fishermen and other illegal units from entering into the international border of Srilanka.
Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra C. Wijegunaratne of the Srilankan Navy said that the idea of joint patrolling system may be fruitful in the coming times and India should take a decision over it. He also added that both the navies of India and Srilanka have already been discussing the issues of national interests, through flag meetings every three months.
The issue of poaching along the international waters surfaced the media after the Srilankan coast guards arrested six Indian fishermen taking the total arrested to 126.
Speaking over the issue of alleged poaching across the international border in the Srilankan parliament, the leader of opposition suggested that the Indian navy or the coast guard should take additional responsibility of patrolling the international waters apart from the Srilankan navy, the Hindu Reported.
On the other hand, Human welfare activists from India opposed the arrest of fishermen by the Srilankan authorities. “Fishermen work for their daily bread and butter. They are not educated. They do not carry any electronic equipment to locate the exact Indian waters in an ocean. The best thing is the Srilanka navy should divert the boat back and warn them of the border instead of arresting and producing them in the court”, Rajan, a human welfare activist said.
The Srilankan authorities said that the six fishermen, who were arrested last week will be produced in the court on Tuesday. “There was a reported damage to the navy’s vessel as the fishermen resisted arrest. Hence, we have went legally. We will produce them in the court and the court will take the decision over the release of the fishermen from our custody”, Commander Ravindra of Srilankan navy said.