Indo-Lanka fisheries talks starts in Chennai today


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Fishermen's Associations of India and Sri Lanka is scheduled to meet today (24) in Chennai to resolve the vexed issue of violation the maritime boundary and invading each other's waters. A sixteen-member Sri Lankan team, comprising 10 leaders of fishermen and six officials, will participate in the talks.
 
The Sri Lankan team will include fishermen leaders from Mannar, Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, and Kilinochchi along with fisheries officials.
 
This will be the third time the Fishermen's Associations of the two countries are meeting to find a solution to the issue of fishing in the Palk Strait and Palk Bay.
 
Representatives of the Fishermen's Associations in Sri Lanka and India met previously on two occasions - first on January 27, 2014 in Chennai and later on May 12, 2014 in Colombo - to find out a solution to share the resources in the seas between the two countries.
 
Sri Lankan fishermen say the Indian fishermen trespassing into the Sri Lankan waters and using destructive fishing practices is not acceptable. However, Indian fishermen and the Tamil Nadu Government are of the view that the waters around Katchatheevu Island and in Palk Bay are their "traditional fishing grounds" that the Sri Lankan fishermen should share.
 
During his visit to Sri Lanka earlier this month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Maithripala Sirisena discussed the fishermen issue and agreed that the complex issue involves livelihood and humanitarian concerns on both sides and should be handled from that perspective.

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