Sushma raises fishermen's killing issue with Sri Lankan envoy

Sushma raises fishermen's killing issue with Sri Lankan envoy

High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam met Swaraj, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, at her residence and promised to convey the views to the highest authorities in Sri Lanka.

"I met the High commissioner at my residence. I raised the issue of killing of our fishermen by the Sri Lanka Navy," Swaraj posted on microblogging site Twitter.

She said that she had voiced concern over the matter and that Kariyawasam had told her that the "Government of Sri Lanka does not approve of the killing of our (Indian) fishermen".

He "promised to convey my concerns to the highest authorities in Sri Lanka," she wrote in a posting.

The BJP leader said she would "continue to follow up this issue".

The killing of two Indian fishermen within a span of one month allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy last month sparked huge protests in Tamil Nadu.

A fisherman was killed and two others were injured while fishing off Kodiakarai coast on January 22, in the second such incident in a fortnight.

Although, Sri Lanka has declined its Navy's involvement in the killings, the issue angered India with the government saying the use of force against the innocent fishermen was "unacceptable" and must be stopped.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who met his Lankan counterpart G L Peiris in Bhutan on Monday, conveyed India's "deep concerns" over the issue.

During the 30-minute meeting, Peiris and Krishna agreed on the early convening of the Joint Working Group to discuss the issue of fishermen.

Peiris maintained that his government's initial investigation had shown that its Navy was not involved in the death of the Indian fishermen and wanted more evidence, if any, to prove otherwise so that the matter could be looked into in that context.

India has already furnished some evidence and expressed readiness to give more depending on availability, which is expected from Tamil Nadu.

On January 31, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao also visited Sri Lanka to discuss the matter.

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