‘Joint Indo-Lanka patrolling can end attacks on fishermen’

Tuesday, 8 February 2011 00:27 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Expressing concern over the continued attacks on Indian fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy, Congress today favoured joint patrolling by the navies of both nations to address the issue.

‘We are equally concerned about this issue and condemn the killings,’ Congress member and party whip in the Tamil Nadu assembly, S. Peter Alphonse said.

Participating in the debate on the interim budget, he said 378 fishermen have so far been killed in attacks.

His remarks come at a time when the Congress-led UPA has been charged by opposition parties with failing to put an end to continued attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are taking steps to address the issue, Alphonse said adding joint patrolling would prove effective in ending the attacks, especially after the ‘decimation’ of the LTTE in 2009.

Last month, two fishermen were killed in attacks allegedly by the island nation’s navy, a charge denied by the latter.

Alphonse also demanded that the Tamil Nadu government spell out separate policies for various natural resources to curb their ‘indiscriminate use,’ especially during developmental activities.

For instance, fertile farm lands were being converted into real estate plots, he said, adding natural resources need to be conserved.  (DNA)