Wickramesinghe’s interview ticks off India as Modi prepares to visit Lanka next week
GN Bureau | March 7, 2015
Few weeks after Sri Lankan president’s visit to India and ahead of prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lanka, Ranil Wickramesinghe, Lankan prime minister has dropped a bombshell that is going to stir up issues especially in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
READ: Tamil Nadu criticises Lankan PM remarks
Indian fishermen venture into Lankan waters as there is a depletion of fisheries on the Indian side. Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu are also guilty of using bottom trawlers that has led to depletion on our side. India and Lanka have signed numerous agreements on fishing rights but few measures have remained on paper.
“If someone tries to break into my house, I can shoot. If he gets killed...Law allows me to do that... On the fishermen issue, As far as I'm concerned, I have very very strong lines. These are our waters...Fishermen of Jaffna should be allowed to fish. We stopped them from fishing, which is why the Indian fishermen came in. They are willing to have a deal...Let's have a reasonable deal...," the Lankan prime minister said in an interview to Thanthi TV, a Chennai based news channel.
"Sri Lankan Navy is only acting as per law when it fires at Indian fishermen entering Lankan waters and therefore they should keep away," Wickramesinghe said. He feels that shooting of fishermen does not amount to human rights violations even while conceding that there have been instances of the Lankan Navy shooting innocent fishermen.
“There also have been instances of the Sri Lankan Navy shooting innocent fishermen. We have not said no to it. In some instance they have to shoot because they were poaching on Sri Lankan Waters. Why are you coming into our waters? Why are you fishing in our waters...? Stay on the Indian side... There will be no issue...No one will shoot anyone else...You stay on the Indian side, Let our fishermen stay on the Sri Lankan side... Otherwise don't make accusations of Human rights violation by the Navy. You came in there," he said.
"You be on to that side, we be on that side. Why do you all pick up the Italian sailors...? You say you are friendly with Italy, show that same magnanimity to Italy that you want us to show. If you want us to show that magnanimity to your fishermen, India should show the same magnanimity to Italian sailors," he added.
Lankan prime minister’s provocative statements are alarming at a time when external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is visiting that country to strengthen the relations between the two countries.
Swaraj on Friday called on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on the first day of her trip to set the stage for Modi's visit to the country, the first bilateral tour by an Indian premier in over 25 years.
PM Modi's visit from March 13-14 will be the first bilateral trip by an Indian prime minister since Rajiv Gandhi visited the island in 1987 to sign the Indo-Lanka Accord.
Half way through the year 2020, it has been a tough time all around the world: Covid-19 epidemic, loss of lives, economic hardships and also numerous other problems – natural disasters and political protests. Coming together, it all has mental health under immense strain. To discuss this and othe
In a first, the Department of Home Science, Sri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidayalam (Women’s University) Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, recently organized an international webinar on “Nutrition and Immune System Support during COVID-19 Pandemic”. Speakers included eminent national and internationa
Even as Unlock enters the second phase, the number of Covid-19 infections continues to rise to record levels and India remains No 4 in the worldwide list, yet there is glimmer of hope: its recovery rate is also rising in tandem. There are 1,27,864 recovered cases more than the active Covid-1
A long-debated idea is finally coming to fruition as the Indian railways has decided to join hands with the private sector, in running some train services to begin with. The ministry of railways has invited ‘request for qualifications’ (RFQ) for private participation for operatio
Democracy in India is now taken for a fact, with an unstated assumption that all our institutions are democratic and hence often our successes and more often failures are attributed to ‘democracy’. However, a key frontier where democracy remains a challenge is that of local governments and that
India, facing China’s aggressiveness at border, has banned 59 smartphone apps, including TikTok, as they were indulging in activities harmful to India’s sovereignty and integrity. The reason cited was: “in view of information available they are engaged in activities which [