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* Poaching India fishermen clash with Sri Lankan fishermen at sea
Sun, Feb 17, 2013, 09:45 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 17, Colombo: Fishermen from Tamil Nadu state of India have clashed with a group of Sri Lankan fishermen near Sri Lanka's Katchatheevu Island early Sunday.

The clash occurred along the international maritime boundary line (IMBL) in the northwestern seas of Mannar, Sri Lankan Navy spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya has told Xinhua.

The Navy has received information about the clash and had sent a navy boat to make inquiries and defuse the situation, Commander Warnakulasuriya has said.

Sri Lankan fishermen accuse the Indian fishermen of poaching in Sri Lankan waters and stealing their livelihood.

Indian fishermen constantly allege that they are attacked by the Sri Lankan Navy when they are fishing near the boundary line. The Navy says fishermen knowingly enter into the Sri Lankan waters to poach in the seas near Katchatheevu.

Kachchatheevu, an uninhabited island with only a Catholic shrine, was ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974 under an Indian Supreme Court directive.

However, Indian fishermen claim Kachchativu is their ''traditional'' fishing area, and refuse to recognize Sri Lanka's sovereignty over the islet.



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