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Sri Lankan fishermen protest against Indian counterparts for alleged poaching

In recent months, the fisher organisations have led several protests, including organising a protest opposite the Indian consulate in Jaffna.
Last Updated 03 March 2024, 13:45 IST

Colombo: Hundreds of Sri Lankan fishermen on Sunday protested against their Indian counterparts for their alleged poaching in the island nation’s waters by sailing to the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in their trawlers.

The fishermen from Jaffna, Mullaitivu, and Mannar districts are agitated by the alleged recurring illegal fishing by their counterparts from India.

They urged the authorities to stop the Indian fishermen from coming to Sri Lankan waters and vowed stronger protests in the future if the situation remained unchecked.

In recent months, the fisher organisations have led several protests, including organising a protest opposite the Indian consulate in Jaffna.

The fishermen issue is a contentious one in the ties between India and Sri Lanka, with Sri Lankan Navy personnel even firing at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats in several alleged incidents of illegally entering Sri Lankan territorial waters.

The Palk Strait, a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, is a rich fishing ground for fishermen from both countries.

There have been periodic instances of Indian fishermen being arrested by Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and fishing in Sri Lankan waters. More than 40 Indian fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy this month.

In 2023, the island nation's Navy arrested 240 Indian fishermen along with 35 trawlers for allegedly poaching in Sri Lankan waters.

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(Published 03 March 2024, 13:45 IST)

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