Fishermen row: India, Sri Lanka agree to set up hotline between coast guards
After holding ministerial level talks on Saturday, the governments of India and Sri Lanka have agreed to set up a hotline between the coast guards and a Joint Working Group (JWG) on fisheries to meet every three months in a bid to address the long pending fishermen issue.
Both countries also agreed to hold a meeting between the Ministers for Fisheries every six months, according to a statement released by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
In another development, the agriculture ministry has mulled ‘special package’ to Tamil Nadu for encouraging fishermen of the state to undertake deep sea fishing by diversifying their bottom trawlers into Tuna long liners.
“The fisheries department has permitted for construction of fishing harbour at Mukaiyur, which is being executed by the state government. At the same time, efforts are also being made regarding construction of fishing harbours at Rameshvaram and Ennore in Tamil Nadu,” agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said in Sri Lanka.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Singh met with Sri Lankan Minister for Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera and Minister for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera.
The ministers exchanged views on possible mechanisms to help find a permanent solution to the fishermen issues after which they agreed on the setting up of a JWG.