Third round of bilateral talks between fishermen of India and Sri Lanka over the issue of fishing in Palk Strait will be held here tomorrow in the backdrop of that country’s Premier claiming the right to shoot down intruding Indian fishermen.
Earlier talks had been held in Chennai and Colombo, and a 15-member delegation from Sri Lanka has already arrived for the talks to be held here.
Fishing in the Palk Strait has been a contentious issue with Indian fishermen either being fired upon or arrested by the Lankan Navy, even as the issue has emotional overtones in Tamil Nadu.
Retrieval of Katchatheevu, an Indian islet ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974 by India, has also been mooted as a solution by political parties in the state for this issue, with the AIADMK and DMK having filed seperate petitions in the Supreme Court on this issue.
However, Colombo has been maintaining that the islet is its sovereign part.
Tomorrow’s talks are being held in the backdrop of the controversial remarks made by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who had said that “If someone tries to break into my house, I can shoot. If he gets killed...Law allows me to do that,” drawing sharp responses from political parties in the state.
The earlier rounds of talks—in January 2014 and May last, between the fishermen of the two countries had failed to make any headway.