Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) categorically denies the allegation that Sri Lanka Naval personnel attacked Indian fishermen fishing in the seas off Kachchative Island on Saturday, as quoted by The Hindu today (23), said a statement issued by the Sri Lankan Navy yesterday (23).
“Sri Lanka Navy expresses deep concerns over the malicious allegations made repeatedly accusing Sri Lanka Navy of harassing Indian fishermen. At no instance has credible proof provided regarding any Sri Lanka Navy involvement. However, on numerous occasions, Sri Lanka Navy has come to the rescue of Indian fishermen in distress and provided them with assistance using its vessels and personnel,” it added.
The statement also drew attention to the recent incident where the Sri Lanka Navy rescued 09 Indian fishermen onboard 02 trawlers, which had developed mechanical problems and drifting in the seas north of Mannar. The two trawlers were towed to Thalaimannar Naval Base and are being repaired by the Sri Lanka Navy, prior to repatriation.
During the recently held International Maritime Boundary Line meeting between the Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Coast Guard, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard, Sri Lanka Navy had briefed the Indian authorities on the measures taken to humanely treat Indian fishermen found engaged in poaching in Sri Lankan waters.
It was also mentioned that as all Sri Lanka Navy ships and craft display their pennant number, any incident reported with regard to harassment should be made with date, time, location and pennant number of the craft or ships.
Sri Lanka Navy, being a responsible and professional naval force honour the international maritime laws and provides humanitarian assistance to any seafarer in distress out at sea at all times, stated the Sri Lanka Navy.