Days after EAM go to, Sri Lanka arrests extra fishermen

Sandeep Dikshit

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10

A large number of fishermen from Tamil Nadu will keep off the sea on Monday in an apparent reflection of the inability of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to resolve their issues with the Sri Lankan leadership during his Colombo visit earlier this week.

In fact with the latest arrests by the Sri Lankan Navy on Sunday, the number of Indian fishermen in custody has crossed 50 as against 36 when Jaishankar had left for Colombo amid hopes that he would secure their release.

A meeting of the India-Sri Lanka joint working group on fisheries had met in the run-up to Jaishankar’s Colombo visit, but it has apparently failed to resolve the issue.

Fishermen from Tamil Nadu, who plan to go on strike, say the Sri Lankan Navy has also been seizing mechanised boats and damaging fishing nets as well besides not allowing them to be in the vicinity of Katchatheevu Island.

The Katchatheevu Island along with the fishermens’ harassment has become a testing stone of India-Sri Lankan bilateral ties under the Modi government.

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