Reuters: Sri Lankan navy on 7 November took away fishing nets of around 30 Indian fishermen off the coast of India’s southern Rameswaram city for fishing in the territorial waters of the island nation.
The fishermen in the coastal town have been complaining of continuous disturbance by Lankan navy which has been affecting their daily lives.
President of Rameswaram Fishermen Association, N. Devadass, said that has been quite often that Sri Lankan navy snatch away the nets and other belongings of the fishermen and later release them.
“Yesterday around 25 to 30 fishermen had gone for fishing. Their fishing nets and other valuable belongings were taken and they were sent back. We suffered a loss of around 100,000 rupees ($1,513.57) to 150,000 rupees ($2,270.35). Four fishermen whose livelihood are dependent on this suffered a huge loss due to this confiscation,” said Devadass on Sunday (8 October).
Devadass appealed to the state government to help them solve this issue as it has become very difficult for them to survive.
Detaining Indian fishermen by the Lankan authorities are frequent as they often cross the International Maritime Boundary Line for fishing in its waters.
Sri Lanka has long fumed over poaching and illegal fishing by Indian fishermen that it says deplete the catches of its own fishermen.
Last year, the relations between Sri Lanka and its neighbour took a hit as five Indian fishermen were sentenced to death by the island nation for drug trafficking.
Such was the outrage against Sri Lanka’s decision in India that New Delhi had to intervene.
Prolonged diplomatic deliberations held behind closed doors eventually led the then Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, to pardon the fishermen.