TN fishermen seek talks

Tamil Nadu (TN) fishermen have expressed their desire to visit Sri Lanka to hold discussions with the aim of arriving at practical solutions to issues that face the fishermen of both countries.The request was put forward to Minister Basil Rajapaksa when he met representatives of the Tamil Nadu Fishermen Federation yesterday, the High Commission of Sri Lanka in India said. The Minister had emphasised the importance of maintaining and enhancing people-to-people contact between the fishing communities in northern Sri Lanka and in Tamil Nadu in India to resolve problems of fishermen amicably and meaningfully. The hour long fruitful discussion focused on all issues of concern to the northern Sri Lankan fishermen including measures that could be taken to address the problem of Indian fishermen crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), and prevent methods of fishing that are harmful to the marine eco system including fish stock. The need to take decisions collectively to address livelihood issues and problems facing the fishing communities on both sides was emphasised. The Minister explained that the northern Sri Lankan fishermen have undergone tremendous hardship for over thirty years and that they require considerable assistance to upgrade methods of fishing.The Minister also explained that the northern Sri Lankan fishermen who are resuming their livelihood after almost three decades should be given the opportunity to fish in their own fishing grounds without hindrance. (Colombo Gazette)

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