ECONOMYNEXT – India’s High Commission in Colombo denied claims made by fishermen that they had been assaulted with sticks after being detained at the maritime boarder and their vessels searched.
“We deny any such incident having taken place,” the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.
“The Indian Navy is a highly disciplined and professional force which discharges its responsibilities in an impeccable manner.
“India is firmly committed to addressing all fishermen related issues between India and Sri Lanka in a humanitarian manner through established bilateral mechanisms and understandings.”
Sri Lanka’s Newsfirst Television said 13 fishermen in two multi-day boats which had reached Dikkowita fishery harbhour had said Indian Navy had detained them at the maritime border on June 04.
The Indian officials had searched the vessel for drugs and attacked them with steel poles, they said.
Newsfirst quoted Secretary to the Fisheries Ministry Indu Rathnayake as saying that a discussion will be held with India after the report is investigated.
Indian fishermen had also been making claims that Sri Lanka Navy had attacked them while poaching on Sri Lanka borders.
Many Indian fishermen had got used fishing in Sri Lanka’s Northern waters in particular during a 30-year civil war when fishermen in the Indian island were under many fishing restrictions.
Sri Lanka and India had several discussions about how to deal with the problem. Sri Lanka authorities have said Indian fishermen use destructive bottom trawling, a practice which is banned by the island.
Indian fishermen this week had objected to the the growing of artificial coral reefs by dumping old bus bodies into the sea. (Colombo/June18/2021)