Written by Keshala Dias
07 Mar, 2017 | 9:35 pm
The Sri Lanka Navy has categorically denied claims that its personnel opened fire at Indian fishermen.
Issuing a press release, the Navy said that no naval personnel has the authority to open fire at another vessel or personnel while aboard a Navy vessel, without a clearance from the Navy Commander.
A group of fishermen from Rameswaram, South India staged a protest against an alleged attack by the Sri Lanka Navy. Protesters charged the Sri Lanka Navy of opening fire on South Indian fishermen fishing between Katchchathivu and Dhanushkody.
Indian media reported that around two-thousand fishermen aboard 440 vessels were engaged in fishing at the time in question and a twenty-one year old fishermen was killed in the attack launched by a flotilla of small boats.
In a statement received by the Sri Lanka Navy, they categorically denied claims made by certain media over an incident of a shooting.
The Sri Lanka Navy says that it is prepared to conduct an investigation in order to ascertain the authenticity of these claims.
The Sri Lanka Navy says, it has deployed special patrols in the sea area around the islet of Katchatheevu ahead of the Katchatheevu Feast which will take place from March 11 – 12.
However, the Navy says that it never resorts to the use of small boats for patrols in the Northern seas.
In its statement, the Sri Lanka Navy says that it has received clear instructions to seize all trawler boats that poach in Sri Lankan territorial waters and the practice followed is to hand over all arrested persons and seized fishermen to the fisheries authorities for legal processing.
Footage of Indian trawlers breaching the maritime boundary and poaching in territorial waters were captured by News1st on several occasions.
News1st proved that the Indian fishermen not only destroy the marine resources but also destroy the ocean floor and all in it.
Local fishermen say that the bottom trawling method followed by the Indian fishermen is the core reason for the destruction of the ocean resources.
Spontaneous raids by security forces also proved that the illegal smuggling trade for contraband such as Kerala Ganja takes place under the guise of illegal fishing.
The Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera said, the Secretary of Defence and the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy have been instructed to conduct an investigation and provide details regarding the matter and that the government will also probe the incident separately and take the respective measures.
“We must also look in to the issues of our fishermen”, he added, “We cannot allow anyone to poach in our waters”.
The image used is only for representational purposes..
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