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TNA to take up fishermen issue with Central Govt.

2013 Oct 01

By Chrishanthi Christopher
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said today that it will take up the issue of the Tamil Nadu fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan territorial waters, with the central government as soon as it takes oaths next week.

TNA, spokesman, Suresh Premachandran told Ceylon Today that the problem of poaching in the northern territorial waters is going on for a long time and that soon a solution will be found to the problem  plaguing the northern fishermen .  

He said that the TNA is getting complaints from fishermen operating in the Mullaitivu and Point Pedro waters daily, complaining of Indian fisherman fishing in Sri Lankan waters.  “We hope to take the issue with the Ministry of Fisheries and the Tamil Nadu government, as soon as we take our oaths,” he said.

Premachandra said that the problem could be sorted out at least half way if the government allows sea fishing in the deep sea with trawlers.  He said that for deep sea fishing, 100 to 200 fishing trawlers can be used  and the catch would last for over a week. “When the fishermen fish in shallow waters the Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen do not know the maritime boundary and cross each boarders” he said. “It is only 15 – 20 kilo meters distance between,” he said.

Premachandra said that the fishermen in the north have the twin disadvantage of not having trawlers and the deep sea fishing experience that goes with. He said that the north does not have a single trawler or the right kind of training in fishing. “The government has to support them,” he said.

However, the Fisheries Department said today that it is ready to have talks with the Indian External Affairs Minister , Salman Khurshid who is due to be here next week.  Director General and Spokesman, Nimal Hettiarachchi told Ceylon Today that the two governments will sit and talk on the long drawn out issue.  “It is going to be a difficult issue,” he said.

Commenting on the fishing trawlers that are being confiscated he said that they are being retained according to a recent directive issued by the Attorney General (AG). It is learnt that presently there are over 150 Tamil Nadu fishermen languishing in the jails with around 40 trawlers seized. (Ceylon Today Online)

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