Fisherman death: India summons Sri Lankan envoy

Thursday, January 13, 2011

NEW DELHI - Conveying concerns over the killing of an Indian fisherman by Sri Lankan Navy personnel, India Thursday summoned Colombo’s envoy Prasad Kariyawasam and stressed that the use of force should be avoided in such incidents.

Kariyawasam met T.S. Tirumurti, joint secretary in charge of Sri Lanka, and is understood to have offered to investigate the incident.

The meeting took place as New Delhi protested against the incident and asked Colombo to avoid force.

The Sri Lankan Navy reportedly opened fire on three Indian fishermen at sea near the Tamil Nadu coast, leading to the death of one Wednesday evening.

“We have received reports of the death of an Indian fisherman due to firing by Sri Lankan Navy personnel,” India’s external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said in New Delhi.

“India’s High Commissioner in Colombo has immediately taken up the matter with the Sri Lankan government and expressed our deep concern and regret at this incident,” Prakash added.

New Delhi has conveyed to Colombo that resorting “to firing in these situations has no justification and called on the Sri Lankan authorities to desist from use of force”.

“The welfare and safety of our fishermen in the waters between India and Sri Lanka have received very high priority by the government,” said the spokesperson.

“We call on the Sri Lankan Navy to exercise maximum restraint and avoid use of force in such situations,” the spokesperson said while stressing that the Sri Lankan government should refrain from firing on Indian fishermen and scrupulously adhere to the October 2008 understanding reached between the two governments.

The Sri Lankan Navy Thursday categorically denied reports that it had fired at Indian fishermen. “No such incident had been reported,” Lankan Navy spokesperson Captain Athula Senarth told reporters in Colombo.

Filed under: Diplomacy

will not be displayed