India to take up fishermen’s killings with Colombo

Sunday, January 23, 2011

CHENNAI - Attacks on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan 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 attacked three Indian fishermen and killed N. Jayakumar from Vedaranyam by strangulating him.

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

AIADMK General Secretary J. Jayalalithaa while condemning strongly the killing charged the Indian government of being soft towards Sri Lanka.

In a statement issued here Sunday, she said: “The attack on Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy is a continuing story due to India not condemning the Sri Lankan government strongly.”

She said the Indian government should warn Sri Lanka of dire consequences if such attacks on the fishermen continued.

Jayalalithaa also came down heavily on Karunanidhi terming him as a silent spectator of the killings.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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