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* Sri Lanka, India discussions on fisheries issues to begin tomorrow
Sun, Jan 26, 2014, 02:26 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 26, Colombo: The officials and the representatives of fishermen of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu will meet in Chennai on Monday to hold discussions on resolving the fisheries issues.

A Sri Lankan delegation on the invitation of the Tamil Nadu government will leave for Chennai Tuesday. The talks are scheduled to be held in at the office of the Tamil Nadu Director of Fisheries in Teynampet on Tuesday morning.

The Director General of Sri Lanka Fisheries Department Nimal Hettiarachchi will lead the five member team of officials from Sri Lanka. The other members of the officials'team include Assistant Director of the Department Lal De Silva, Assistant Director of the Department (Jaffna) D. S Miranda, Advisor to the Department Dr. S. Subasinghe and state counsel Nuwan Peiris of the Attorney Generalís Department.

Ten representatives from the fisheries organizations of Sri Lanka's Northern and Eastern Provinces will also take part in the discussion while 12 fishermen from various districts of Tamil Nadu will also take part in the talks.

The main focus of the discussion is preventing the Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lanka's territorial waters and the Sri Lankans entering into the Indian sea territory.

However, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has set a five-point agenda for the talks including the demand for allowing Indian fishermen to fish in their "traditional waters" in Palk Bay irrespective of the International Maritime Boundary Line.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka held discussions with the Maldives to seek a safe passage for Sri Lankan deep sea fishing vessels to sail to the international waters of the Arabian sea. At present Sri Lankan vessels endeavor to cross Indian waters to reach the Arabian Sea for fishing amidst threats of arrest by Indian authorities.

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