India to take up fishermen killings with Colombo

Sunday, January 23, 2011

CHENNAI - Attacks on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lanka Navy cannot be justified, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here Sunday, a day after another fisherman was killed.

India, he told reporters here, would take up the issue with the Sri Lankan government.

Speaking after meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, Mukherjee said: “In the last 10 days two Indian fishermen have been killed by the Sri Lanka Navy. Firm action will be taken … through the external affairs ministry.”

He said India had been helping Sri Lanka to recover from decades of armed conflict and attacks on Indian fishermen cannot be justified.

Mukherjee said that Sri Lankan authorities can arrest Indian fishermen if they violate the international maritime boundary but they cannot shoot them.

He said Karunanidhi had expressed deep anguish over the attacks on the Indian fishermen.

The Sri Lanka Navy Saturday night fired at three Indian fishermen, killing one of them, N. Jayakumar from Vedaranyam.

The Tamil Nadu government has announced Rs.500,000 as compensation to the family of Jayakumar.

Mukherjee and Tamil Nadu Congress chief K.V. Thankabalu met Karunanidhi for half hour.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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