Taking about the long-standing problems of Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen, visiting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday said that he discussed the matter with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, adding there will be joint talks first between the fishermen associations and then between the Foreign Ministers and Ministers of Fishery. “We did discuss it and there will be joint talks. First, there will be talks between fishermen associations on both sides (India and Sri Lanka). And then, in the first week of November, there will be talks between both Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Fishery (of India and Sri Lanka),” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said.
Taking about the problems of Sri Lankan fishermen, he said, “In Jaffna, they are shouting at me and saying we were doing nothing. Why don’t you come to Sri Lanka to see the problems of Sri Lankan fishermen after their concern with the fishing that is taking place in India’s water; I would like some of you to come to Sri Lanka to see the sufferings of our fishermen.” When asked when the Sri Lankan Government would be releasing the Indian fishermen, he said, “We have no one in jail there, all were released. They have actually broken Sri Lanka’s laws and there can be jail. But, just before I came here all were released.” Earlier today, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe met his Indian counterpart at the Hyderabad House here to further deepen the partnership between both neighbours.
Before that, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, who is on a three-day visit to India, and is believed to have discussed issues of mutual interest. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe will attend the opening plenary of the India Economic Summit along with Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday.