NEW DELHI: With an aim to find a solution to the vexed issue of fishermen, a Joint Working Group (JWG) of India and Sri Lanka will hold a meeting on Saturday. Following the JWG meeting, a ministerial-level meeting between the two nations is scheduled in Colombo on January 2.
"As per the schedule agreed at the November 5 meeting between India and Sri Lanka on the fishermen issue, the ministerial meeting is to be preceded by a Joint Working Group meeting at Secretary level," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.For the last several months, both India and Sri Lanka have been taking measures to put in place a mechanism soon to resolve the fishermen issue.
Swarup maintained that the JWG, which was constituted to find a solution to the issue of fishermen of both the countries straying into each other's territorial waters, will take place here on December 31 and the ministerial meeting will be held in Colombo on January 2.
There have been several alleged incidents of Sri Lankan Navy personnel firing at Indian fishermen fishing in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats.The Palk Strait, which is a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, is a rich fishing ground for fishermen from both the countries.
Associates of fishermen from both neighbouring nations had held talks on the issue here in November where the delegation from the island nation rejected demands for relaxation of norms for fishermen from Tamil Nadu to use fishing trawlers.