Oct 08, Chennai: India’s Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai on Saturday met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jeyaram Jayalalithaa prior to his visit to Sri Lanka today.
Indian media reports said that the Chief Minister has conveyed her strong concern over the alleged harassment of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy during the meeting.
The Chief Minister has said that the alleged attacks on the Tamil Nadu fishermen should be viewed as a national issue and not as an isolated issue for her state.
Sri Lanka Navy denies any attacks on Indian fishermen who enter into Sri Lankan waters illegally for poaching. However, the Navy says they warn the Indian fishermen when they cross the International Maritime Boundary Line (IBML) and forces them to turn around.
Sri Lankan fishermen enraged by the continual robbing of their livelihood by the Indians say the country is losing billions of rupees due to the poaching.
The Chief Minister has urged the Foreign Secretary Mathai to take up the matter with the Sri Lankan government.
Mathai is visiting Sri Lanka from October 8-10. During his visit he is expected to review developmental projects being taken up in various parts of Northern Sri Lanka under India’s assistance.
The Foreign Secretary is scheduled to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and representatives of the major Tamil party in Sri Lanka, Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
This would be Mathai’s first visit to Sri Lanka, since he took over as Foreign Secretary in August 2011.