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* Sri Lankan Navy offers refreshments to Tamil Nadu fishermen fishing in Sri Lankan waters
Thu, Jan 24, 2013, 11:05 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 24, Colombo: In a friendly gesture Sri Lankan Navy personnel has offered tea and biscuits to a group of fishermen from Tamil Nadu fishing in the Sri Lankan waters near Katchatheevu and given them a friendly warning that they are in Sri Lanka's territorial waters.

The group of about 50 Tamil Nadu fishermen, who often accuse Sri Lankan Navy of allegedly attacking them, was taken by surprise of the Navy personnel's gesture, the Indian media reported.

"When they surrounded us we thought we are going to be beaten up. But they gave us tea and biscuits," Nagarajan, one of the fishermen, has been quoted as saying upon his return to the shores.

According to the fishermen, the Navy men however have offered a friendly warning asking the fishermen to fish in Indian waters and not to come too deep into Sri Lanka's territorial waters.

The Sri Lankan Navy is often accused of attacking the Indian fishermen who, mostly from Tamil Nadu poaching in Sri Lankan waters. However, India recently acknowledged that the claims of recent attacks on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lanka Navy are mere allegations sans any proof.

At the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission held this week in New Delhi, the External Affairs Ministers of the two countries committed to decrease incidents pertaining to fishing on the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and agreed that the use of force could not be justified under any circumstances and all fishermen should be treated humanely.



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