Thu, 30 Nov 2023

New York [US], September 26 (ANI): Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said that India and Sri Lanka need to sit and talk to discuss the fishermen issue between the two nations. He said that the two nations will be able to find a solution if they sit and negotiate.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Sabry noted that the two nations have a history of sitting, negotiating and resolving problems, "just like in a family."Asked about the fishermen issue between Sri Lanka and India, Ali Sabry said, "We need to sit and talk about it. I think India and Sri Lanka have a history of sitting, negotiating and resolving problems. It does come just like in a family.""So, we are very confident that if we can sit and talk about it and find a solution which is win-win, which is good for Sri Lanka, good for India and good for our relationship. We also have a lot of pressure from our fishermen, particularly from the Tamil-speaking fishermen in the North and East because that's their livelihood. But, similarly, it's also a livelihood for the people in some of the fishermen in your country. I'm sure we will sit, we'll negotiate, we'll discuss this and find a solution which is acceptable to all," he added.

On August 29, ten Indian Fishermen who were allegedly arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy and were later released by the Sri Lankan government reached Chennai Airport. This comes after the Sri Lankan Court issued an order for their release and asked security forces to initiate the process.

On August 22, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday urged the Central Government for "immediate intervention" to bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice.

In a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Stalin said, "I want to bring to your attention an issue of grave concern that demands immediate intervention. Recent reports have highlighted an increased number of attacks on Tamil fishermen by Sri Lankan nationals, and on August 21, 2023, alone, nine instances were reported. These incidents are causing serious harm to their morale and impact livelihood severely," CM Stalin said in his letter.

Stalin said that the attackers inflicted physical harm upon Indian citizens and subjected them to theft, leaving them helpless and distressed.

"The livelihood of our fishermen is intricately tied to the oceans and these recurring acts of violence not only jeopardise their lives and well-being but also hinder their ability 10 sustain their families and communities. Such incidents undermine the spirit of peaceful coexistence and violate their fundamental rights and the principles of international maritime law," TN CM said in his letter.

The Chief Minister urged the External Affairs Minister to take necessary steps to "request the Sri Lankan authorities to take swift and decisive action to identify and bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice." (ANI)

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