Mar 16, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe again expressed his stance that the country's Navy has the right to shoot any intruders entering its waters.
In an interview with India's NDTV the Sri Lankan PM reiterated that Sri Lanka and India are working to resolve the fishermen's issue, but the country's navy has the right to shoot anyone who intrudes into its territorial waters.
"The Lankan navy has the right to shoot in any part of the country if anyone enters territorial waters, this is nothing new," the PM told the NDTV.
The Prime Minister earlier said the same in an interview to a Tamil TV channel in Chennai just ahead of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the island.
"If someone tries to break into my house, I can shoot. If he gets killed... Law allows me to do that," he told the Tamil TV channel alleging that Indian fishermen were taking away the livelihood of Sri Lankan fishermen in the North.
His statement drew heavy criticism from all quarters of India.
The main issue, he told NDTV, was bottom trawling by fishing boats and it has to stop. "That has been acknowledged by all sides."
Mr Wickremasinghe said the two countries were working on a solution to the issue. "The foreign minister (Sushma Swaraj) when she was here, told me that they are trying to get them (the fishermen) moved out," he said.
India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met with the PM during her visit to Sri Lanka ahead of PM Modi's visit. During the discussion, Swaraj has explained India's view that issues of fishermen is a humanitarian issue and an issue of livelihood.
Speaking of PM Modi's visit, Mr Wickremasinghe has said, that Mr. Modi had "reached out" to Sri Lanka and the Lankans had responded.
"It makes a case that there should be regular visits by Indian PM to Lanka, but he covered every part and showed that India stood for all Sri Lankans. While we have to settle the outstanding problems in the North, India was not thinking only of the north but all Sri Lanka," he added.