Why are Sri Lankan fishermen protesting against their Indian counterparts?

The fishermen, hailing from Jaffna, Mullaitivu, and Mannar districts vowed to intensify protests if the situation persisted unchecked.

Numerous Sri Lankan fishermen staged a protest against their Indian counterparts on Sunday, accusing them of engaging in illegal fishing in Sri Lankan waters, PTI reported.

The fishermen, hailing from Jaffna, Mullaitivu, and Mannar districts, expressed dissatisfaction over the alleged recurrent incursions by Indian fishermen and called on authorities to prevent such activities.

They vowed to intensify protests if the situation persisted unchecked.

The ongoing tensions surrounding the fishermen’s issue have created strains in India-Sri Lanka relations, resulting in periodic confrontations such as firing incidents by the Sri Lankan Navy and the arrest of Indian fishermen.

Palk Strait dispute strains India-Sri Lanka relationship
Palk Strait is a narrow waterway, separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka and serves as a lucrative fishing ground for both nations.

The disputed fishing ground in the water body continues to pose challenges, prompting calls for effective measures to address the persistent issues.

Over 40 Indian fishermen were apprehended by the Sri Lanka Navy this month. In 2023, 240 Indian fishermen were arrested for alleged poaching in Sri Lankan waters, followed by the seizure of 35 trawlers.

In recent months, fishers’ organisations have staged multiple protests, including one held in front of the Indian consulate in Jaffna, expressing their discontent over what they allege is continued illegal fishing by Indian counterparts.

Earlier this week, Puducherry chief minister N Rangasamy wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking the Centre’s intervention in securing the release of fishing boats from the union territory that have been confiscated by Sri Lankan authorities, The Hindu reported.

Source: hindustantimes.com

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