Wickremesinghe said that Indian fishermen could be shot if they intruded into the country's waters
Shivani Chaturvedi | March 9, 2015 | Chennai
Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe remarks on Indian fishermen has led to a major controversy. Wickremesinghe said that Indian fishermen could be shot if they intruded into the country's waters. His remarks are being highly criticised in Tamil Nadu.
Ajit Menon teaching at Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS) says, such a statement by Sri Lankan prime minister would only aggravate ill feeling between people of the two nations. It is not a positive development. Moreover, prime minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit the island nation on March 13, this would pre-empt any kind of possibility of talk on fishermen issue.
Menon, who is also working on fishermen related issues, says, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in Sri Lanka has been relatively silent on fishermen issue. He further adds, “There is also a perception that after recent elections the Sri Lankan government had become liberal on trawler issue. The number of trawlers crossing Indian border and going in Sri Lanka waters has increased. People in Sri Lanka were unhappy with this.”
Chennai-based political observer Gnani Sankaran says, “It is very unfortunate that the Sri Lankan prime minister made such a statement. It is undiplomatic. A government cannot be so aggressive.” “Indian government should take up this issue when Modi visits Sri Lanka in March,” he adds.
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