Indian fisherman's killing: Sri Lanka Navy has promised full probe, say sources

Posted March 09, 2017

The Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera said, the Secretary of Defence and the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy have been instructed to conduct an investigation and provide details regarding the matter and that the government will also probe the incident separately and take the respective measures. Strongly condemning the unprovoked firing against the innocent fishermenby the Lankan Navy, he said the Centre should take permanent steps to prevent recurrence of such incidents in the future. He demanded that the Narendra Modi government hold embassy-level talks at once on the issue, and wants it to warn Sri Lanka that if Indian fishermen are harmed, the island nation will have to face dire consequences. It is unclear whether the fishermen strayed into Sri Lankan waters, but it is reported there were high seas at the time of the incident. He also announced Rs one lakh to the other fisherman, who was injured in the attack, and directed that the best medical treatment be offered to him. In a statement, Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka said, "the initial investigations had indicated that the Sri Lankan navy was not involved".

The protest by hundreds of fishermen here against the killing of a colleague allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy entered the second day today as they demanded an assurance by the Centre on protecting their livelihood.

Fishermen protest in Tamil Nadu's Rameswaram.

The chief minister said he had been informed that the deceased fisherman Britjo sustained a bullet wound on his neck and died while being brought to the shore. He said attacks on the Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy have been happening for the past 30 years, leaving more than 800 fishermen dead. Last month, Sri Lanka reiterated that the practice of bottom trawling needs to end at the earliest.

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The Maritime Security Agency had detained the fishermen along with two boats for fishing inside Pakistani territorial waters in the Arabian Sea and handed them over to police for legal action.

The new regime in Colombo under Sirisena had declared loudly that it would go for reconciliation but now it has presided over the murder of a Tamil fisherman in Tamil Nadu, breaking all provisions of intentional law.

The Coast Guard Ship Arnvesh during surveillance apprehended two Sri Lankan fishing boats "Manoj" and "Kalanaputha" along with five crew members each.