Khurshid, Peiris Discuss Fishermen Issue, UNHRC
Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid met his Sri Lankan counterpart G L Peiris on Wednesday afternoon, during which he talked about the forthcoming United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session and agreed to consider the proposals agreed upon at the recent meeting of fishermen’s associations of both the countries.
Peiris arrived on Tuesday for a three-day visit to India, as part of which he met Khurshid in his South Block office.
Official sources said that the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including issues related to fishermen, were discussed between the two. “It was agreed that the Governments of India and Sri Lanka would remain engaged to ensure that fishermen from both sides can continue to pursue their livelihood in a safe, secure and sustainable manner,” added a highly-placed government official.
The two ministers “positively assessed” the meeting of the fishermen’s associations of India and Sri Lanka that took place in Chennai on Monday. Both of them termed it as a “first step in the right direction and agreed to consider the proposals put forward by the associations”.
Khurshid thanked Peiris’s “personal efforts” in ensuring the release of Indian fishermen. He stressed that India attaches the highest importance to the “safety, security and well- being of fishermen”.
While the proposals have not been made public, reports have said that Indian fishermen had agreed for an embargo on destructive methods of fishing for a period of about a month which will be followed by another round of talks.
The two leaders also discussed possible scenarios at the March session of the UNHRC as part of “issues of common interests that are likely to feature in forthcoming international meetings of which India and Sri Lanka are both members were also discussed”.