G.K. Vasan calls on PM to take up Tamil fishermens' issue with Sri Lanka
Union Shipping Minister G. K. Vasan on Monday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make efforts for the release of fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan government after the success of talks between the two governments.
Last week, Sri Lanka's navy arrested 32 Indian fishermen for allegedly fishing illegally in their territorial waters less than two months after the two neighbours agreed to work together to resolve the issue.
"I met the honourable Prime Minister today. I insisted the Prime Minister that all our fishermen who have been arrested, should be released immediately and their boats should be returned to them so that the next level of talks between both the governments will be successful," said Vasan.
In January, both the countries held talks in New Delhi to free the detained fishermen and long-term measures to combat the transgression in each side's waters. As a result, 283 Indian and 181 Sri Lankan fishermen were released.
Vasan also requested Singh to support the United States (US) resolution against Sri Lanka.
"Regarding human rights violations of Sri Lanka, the US has brought a resolution and I have requested that, earlier on two occasions, we have supported the resolution against the Sri Lankan government and we should continue this time also," he added.
India and Sri Lanka also decided to "be in touch" on the UNHRC resolutions. A Resolution titled "Promoting reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka" has been submitted by the United States, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Montenegro, FYR of Macedonia, and Mauritius.
India has not analysed the resolutions so far, and will only take the call once it goes through the text.
(Posted on 11-03-2014)