Tamil Diplomat

NPC Chief Minister suggests ‘Laws’ to end transgression of Indian trawlers into the seas of Northern Sri Lanka

To put a full stop to the transgression of Indian fishermen trawlers in the Northern seas, the Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister Justice C.V. Wigneswaran has suggested that both Indian and Sri Lankan governments should bring laws in their own countries prohibiting Trawlers fishing in specified areas.

Chief Minister made this suggestion when he was asked to express the views of the Northern Provincial Council, regards to the fisheries problems during the meeting with President Maithripaala Srisena at Presidential Secretariat this afternoon.

Home Affairs Minister Joseph Michael Perera, Northern Provincial Council Governor Palihakkara, Eastern Provincial Council Governor Austin Fernando, Secretary of Foreign  Affairs Ministry Mrs. Chitranganee Wagiswara , Commander of the Navy Rear Admiral Jayantha Perera, Northern Provincial Council Minister Deniswaran, State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene and Secretary of Fisheries Ministry   were  present at this meeting.

4-2Chief Minister pointed out to the fact that the problems started after 1974, when Trawlers were introduced. Before that’ fishermen from both sides have fished amicably over centuries.

Considering this fact, the Chief Minister suggested that both Indian and Sri Lankan governments should bring laws in their own countries prohibiting Trawler fishing  in specified areas and to direct all deep sea fishing to Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, and this would allow traditional fishermen to fish using traditional fishing methods.

The Chief Minister explained to the President that Northern Province fishermen couldn’t afford to lose all forms of sea resources by the trawler fishing, as there was plenty of deep sea fishing possible in the seas of Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal.

The Chief Minister also suggested that surveillance could be jointly undertaken by both Navies and stressed the need to strictly enforcing the Law by removing trawlers presently berthed around eastern South Indian ports and moving them to areas like Thiruvendram and Visakapattinam.

Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene agreed with Chief Minister’s suggestion. Meanwhile, Northern Provincial Council Governor Pallihakkara proposed to implement his suggestion for a trial period and see its efficacy.

During the meeting the Navy Commander showed a documentary explaining how the Indian Trawler Owners mostly having tremendous political clout in South India and owners of large Trawlers are exploiting the sea bed of Northern seas. The Commander also detailed the arrests of Indian fishermen. Eastern Provincial Council Governor Austin Fernando referred to various rules that were in place during the time of the LTTE.