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* India, Sri Lanka to draw a fishing boundary to solve fishermen issues
Sun, Jan 27, 2013, 10:42 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 27, Colombo: Sri Lanka and India will soon ink an agreement to draw a fishing boundary in the Palk Strait to end the continuing skirmishes between the Sri Lankan Navy and the Indian fishermen invading Sri Lanka's territorial waters.

Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office V. has told Indian media today that the proposed agreement to end recurring attacks on fishermen from Tamil Nadu allegedly by the island navy is in final stages and both governments have agreed to the boundary proposals.

The External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka Prof. G. L. Peiris last week met his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid and held discussions on the nagging fishermen issue.

Narayanasamy has said that Indian High Commissioner in Colombo was also holding talks with the Sri Lankan government, and the PMO was following up the matter.

He said Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen have been called for talks to finalize the sea boundary for the purpose of fishing.

The State Minister has expressed hope that the two governments would sign the agreement. He has also sought the cooperation of the Tamil Nadu Government in finalizing the agreement.

Indian fishermen, mainly from Tamil Nadu, poaching illegally in large scale with trawlers in Sri Lanka's waters, have become a serious threat to the livelihoods of Sri Lankan fishermen.

They constantly allege the Sri Lankan Navy of attacking them when they are fishing near the boundary line. The Navy says fishermen knowingly enter into the Sri Lankan waters to poach.

Sri Lankan Navy has repeatedly denied the claims of attacks by the Tamil Nadu fishermen saying that at no instance Indian parties had provided credible proof regarding any Sri Lanka Navy involvement.

Indian government has assured that it will continue to cooperate with the Sri Lankan government to ensure that fishermen on both sides can pursue their livelihood safely and securely.

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