Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan has hit out at Sri Lankan Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne for putting forth conditions for the release of Indian fishermen, a week before the Indo-Lanka talks on January 20 to resolve the fishermen row.
Senaratne had stated that all the 275 Indian fishermen would be freed only after India sent back all their fishermen, including 34 lodged in Andhra Pradesh.
Talking to reporters after unveiling a bronze statue of freedom fighter and social reformer Babu Jagjeevan Ram here on Monday, Vasan said the conditions put forth by Senaratne could vitiate the atmosphere ahead of talks. Terming the statement ‘one-sided’ and ‘irresponsible’, Vasan said, “Political leaders and officials should refrain from making such statements as everyone wants to bring home the fishermen and their boats immediately and safely.”
To a query on the agenda of the meeting and whether Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa would be invited for the talks, the Minister said that the MEA was hosting the talks and it would announce the participants and the venue as well.