STARRED QUESTION NO.437
TO BE ANSWERED ON 26.08.2010
SHRI T.K. RANGARAJAN:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) whether Government is aware of the attack on fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan Navy;
(b) if so, the number of such cases reported during the last one year;
(c) whether Government has taken up the matter with the Sri Lankan Government; and
(d) if so, the details thereof and the measures taken by authorities concerned?
ANSWER THE MINISTER OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS (SHRI S.M. KRISHNA)
(a) to (d) There have been incidents of apprehension and firing upon Indian fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy. However, the Sri Lankan Navy has denied responsibility in such incidents of firing on Indian fishermen. Since 2009, there have been 6 incidents
of attack on Indian fishermen. In 2009, there were no fishermen killed or missing. Recently in July 2010 we have had an incident in which one fisherman was reportedly killed and three injured.
We are constantly in touch with Government of Sri Lanka on the issue of safety and security of our fishermen. Further, as soon as such incidents are brought to our notice, the matter is taken up immediately with Government of Sri Lanka on a priority basis.
Keeping in mind the humanitarian and livelihood dimensions of the issue, on 26th October 2008, both sides agreed to put in place an understanding on practical arrangements to deal with bonafide Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen crossing the International Maritime
Boundary Line (IMBL). As part of these practical arrangements, it was decided that there will be no firing on Indian fishermen and vessels and Indian fishing vessels will not tread into sensitive areas designated by GoSL along its coastline. We have impressed
on the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure that the Sri Lankan Navy to act with restraint, not fire on our fishermen and treat our fishermen in a humane manner.