Oct 12, Colombo: A bishop from Sri Lanka says he will take up the issues faced by local fishermen with the Tamil Nadu government.
Mannar Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph has said that he would take up the issue of Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters with the Tamil Nadu government.
He said that he intended to make representations on the issue to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and DMK Leader M. Karunanidhi.
The Bishop noted that his decision had nothing to do with politics, but it was a humanitarian issue that needed to be resolved.
"Indian boats come as close as 500 meters from the coastline and they come in their thousands. On the days these boats come our people do not go fishing because they are frightened of doing so," Rev. Joseph told the media.
He explained that the issue has gone out of control with local fishermen even finding it extremely difficult to cover the cost of fuel for their outboard motors because of the depleted catch of fish.
External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatilaka Amunugama recently said that during his visit to Sri Lanka, India's External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid would be shown evidence of the extensive poaching by thousands of Indian boats in Sri Lankan waters.