UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 1152
TO BE ANSWERED ON 11.12.2008
DR. V. MAITREYAN:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) whether it is a fact that the Sri Lankan Navy is regularly attacking the fishermen of Tamil Nadu and also arresting them for no reasons;
(b) the total number of persons taken into custody so far during this year;
(c) the numbers that have been killed by them so far during this year; and
(d) the steps that are being taken by our Government to protect and get them released from Sri Lanka?
ANSWER THE MINISTER OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS(SHRI PRANAB MUKHERJEE)
(a) There have been incidents of apprehension and firing upon Indian fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy. The Sri Lankan Navy has denied responsibility in incidents of firing on Indian fishermen.
(b) According to available information, in the period between 1st January to 5th December, 2008, one thousand four hundred and fifty two (1452) fishermen have been apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy. All the fishermen have been released from custody and repatriated
after intervention of the Government of India.
(c) According to media reports, in the period between 1st January to 5th December 2008, five Indian fishermen have allegedly been killed by the Sri Lankan Navy. The Sri Lankan Navy has denied responsibility after investigating the incidents.
(d) The Government always take up strongly all such incidents with the Government of Sri Lanka and emphasize the need for the Sri Lankan Navy to act with restraint, desist from firing on our fishermen and treat them in a humane manner. Keeping in mind the
humanitarian and livelihood dimensions of the issue, Government has reached an understanding with the Sri Lankan Government on 26th October 2008 to put in place practical arrangements to deal with bonafide Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen crossing the International
Maritime Boundary Line. As part of these arrangements, there will be no firing on Indian fishing vessels and Indian fishing vessels will not tread into sensitive areas designated by the Government of Sri Lanka along its coastline.