Jan 15, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government is fully committed to working towards fulfilling the mandate of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group to address issues relating to cooperation in the fisheries sector between the two countries, the External Affairs Ministry said in a press release Sunday.
Rejecting some negative news reports that related to the India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group on Fisheries meeting held in Colombo on 13-14 January 2012, the Sri Lankan Ministry said “unfortunately, these are misinterpretations of the positions taken by either of the parties, and do not reflect the cordial, friendly and constructive manner in which the relevant issues were discussed.”
“While maintaining their respective positions, including on the issue of traditional fishing rights, both sides expressed the genuine desire of their governments to enhance cooperation that would allow the fishermen of the two countries to pursue their fishing activity in a safe, secure and sustainable manner,” the release said.
“It was agreed to continue discussions, with the objective of arriving at a holistic solution that would take into account the aspects of safety and security, resource sustainability, ecological conservation and livelihood sustenance,” it further said.
Towards this end, the two sides have agreed to work towards conclusion of the Memorandum of Understanding on Development and Cooperation in the Field of Fisheries at the earliest.
“The Government of Sri Lanka is fully committed to working towards fulfilling the mandate of the Joint Working Group to address issues relating to cooperation in the fisheries sector between the two countries,” the Ministry statement concluded.