Lankan govt has assured fishermen will not be fired at

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Chennai, Aug 25 (UNI) The Sri Lankan government has assured India that it would not open fire on Tamil Nadu fishermen if they crossed the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) while fishing in the High seas.

Disclosing this to reporters after a nearly 30-minute meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at the state Secretariat here, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan said Sri Lanka has assured that hereafter firing on Indian fishermen would not take place.

Sri Lanka also assured that Indian fishermen would be treated in a humanitarian way whenever they were arrested for crossing the IMBL and would be released as early as possible.

Recalling Mr Karunanidhi's meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to New Delhi last month during which he expressed grave concern over the attacks on Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, Mr Narayanan said the Prime Minister took up the issue with Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse during SAARC Summit.

A meeting between the officials of the two nations, arrived at certain decisions, which were under process.

''One of the assurances given by Sri Lanka was that hereafter there will not be any attack on Indian fishermen and that they will be treated in a humane way if they were arrested'', he added.

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