India lodges protest over mid-sea collision involving SLN

India lodges protest over mid-sea collision involving SLN

India lodges protest over mid-sea collision involving SLN

Written by Zulfick Farzan

22 Jan, 2021 | 6:15 pm

Colombo (News 1st); With demonstrations taking place in Tamil Nadu, India summoned the acting high commissioner of Sri Lanka to “strongly protest” against the death of three Indian fishermen and a Sri Lankan national following a collision between their boat and a Sri Lankan naval vessel.

It is learnt that India had conveyed the protest to the acting Sri Lankan envoy “in person” in Delhi.

“Expressing our deep anguish at the loss of lives, we emphasized the need to deal with issues pertaining to fishermen in a humanitarian manner,” said the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India.

Existing understandings between the two Governments in that regard must be strictly observed. Utmost efforts should be made to ensure that there is no recurrence, it added.

Sri Lanka’s Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Douglas Devananda in a statement said the incident is subject to investigation.

A proposal was already forwarded to the Indian Prime Minister with respect to preventing Indian fishermen from entering Sri Lankan waters, and if those proposals are put into action, such events could have been averted, said the statement.

On 18th January Sri Lanka Navy units on patrol carried out an operation to seize Indian fishing trawlers poaching in Sri Lankan waters trespassing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), after observing more than 50 trawlers.

As the operation was panning out, one of the Indian fishing trawlers, with aggressive manoeuvres resisting the arrest, was on an attempt to evade from the scene making it collide with SLN Craft in operation and ultimately sank at sea having lost its stability.

The collision also led causing of damages to the SLN Fast Attack Craft which was subsequently brought to Kankesanthurai harbour safely for repair work.

Following the incident, Sri Lanka Navy commenced a search and rescue operation in search of the fishers on the sunken trawler and later recovered 04 bodies.

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