Finance fishing boats

Team led by Indian envoy to Colombo travel to TN to discuss fishing issue

Colombo, December 2 (IANS): A team led by the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka recently visited Tamil Nadu to discuss several issues, including the controversy over sea fishing between India and Sri Lanka, according to a statement.

The High Commissioner, Gopal Baglay, along with two officials, visited Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Pondicherry from November 21 to 24, the diplomatic mission in Colombo said.

During the visit, the delegation met Governor of Tamil Nadu RN Ravi, Chief Minister MK Stalin and also called Minister of Fisheries, Fishermen’s Welfare and Livestock Anitha R. Radhakrishnan, the Minister of Finance and Human Resources Management, Dr Palanivel Thiaga Rajan and the Minister for Minority Welfare and the Welfare of Non-Resident Tamils, Gingee KSMasthan, in Chennai.

Baglay also visited the coastal town of Rameshwaram and spoke with the local fishing community about the problems faced by Indian fishermen.

“Tamil Nadu government officials briefed the visiting High Commissioner on the infrastructure and other facilities they had developed for deep sea fishing in the district. The high commissioner also took the opportunity to visit the former ferry port of Dhanuskodhi which – the connectivity of people between India and Sri Lanka, “said the high commissioner’s statement.

After speaking with senior officials of the Tamil Nadu government and others

stakeholders, it was decided to facilitate the early convening of the Joint India-Sri Lanka Fisheries Working Group and interactions between fishermen’s associations of the two countries.

“The High Commissioner has been informed that a team from Tamil Nadu will travel to Sri Lanka to finalize the arrangements for auctioning the sunk Indian fishing boats in various Sri Lankan ports,” the statement said.

The High Commissioner also visited the Sri Lankan rehabilitation camp at Thiruchirapalli and spoke with the Sri Lankan refugees who are accommodated there.

Participate in a trade and investment event organized by the South Indian Chamber

Commerce and Industry (SICCI), the High Commissioner underlined the importance of

working closely to exploit trade and investment opportunities for Indian companies in Sri Lanka.

Visiting Pondicherry, the High Commissioner also met Governor Dr Tamilisai

Soundararajan and Chief Minister N. Rangaswamy.

Having provided rich fishing grounds for fishermen in southern India and northern Sri Lanka, the narrow marine strip, Palk Bay has become a hotly contested area with allegations of continued poaching by Indian fishermen in the Sri Lankan waters and allegations of harassment by Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.