UNP Parliamentarian R.Yogarajan has appealed that the issue of fishermen of both India and Sri Lanka must be viewed as a humanitarian issue.
He was addressing Parliament on the bill submitted by Fiseries Minister Michael Prerera. He said:
“Very frequently, Indian fishermen intrude into our maritime boundary and their boats are confiscated and the fishermen arrested. The situation is same for Sri Lankan fishermen who intrude the maritime boundary of India. On many occasions, fishermen and their boats are released by both parties as an exchange program, However, the trend continues without a lasting solution. Recently, 87 Indian fishing boats were ordered to be released as a good will gesture before the visit of President Maithripala Sirisena to India.
Now we have strengthened relations with India. We have to stop this frequent arrests and releases by building mutual understanding. Several a rounds of talks have been held and the next round will be held in March.
I am sure we would be able to reach an amicable agreement or solution during the next meeting. We have to look at the problem in a human basis, but not as a problem between the two governments.”