Third Indo-Sri Lanka meet today
The third meeting of India– Sri Lanka Joint Working Group (JWG) on fisheries, established to address the fishermen issue is taking place in New Delhi on Friday to discuss, among other issues, the release of fishermen arrested by Lankan navy and their boats.
Sources here said the meeting of Indian and Lankan delegates would also discuss the ‘upkeep of the detained vessels’ in Lankan ports. This assumed significance as a team of officials and fishermen, who inspected the boats, ahead of salvaging 42 trawlers, ordered released by the Sri Lankan government in August, expressed concern over their condition.
Engines of all the trawlers had failed and the fishermen had to spend at least ₹8 lakh to refurbish the boats each. Some of the boats had to be dismantled as scrap, the fishermen said.
The Indian delegates, led by Devendra Chaudhry, Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, and the Lankan side, led by W.M.M.R. Adikari, Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, would also discuss expediting transition towards ending the practice of bottom trawling in the Palk Bay and cooperation in tuna fishing joint projects, the sources said.