'Govt. to take up firing, ill-treatment of fishermen incidents with Sri Lanka'

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New Delhi, Aug.11 (ANI): The government has reiterated that the safety and welfare of the country's fishermen is uppermost on its mind and it will immediately take up incidents of firing, apprehension or ill-treatment of fishermen with the Government of Sri Lanka.

Responding to a calling attention notice by V Maitreyan of the AIADMK and others regarding killing of Indian fishermen and continuous attacks on them by the Sri Lankan Navy in the Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Wednesday said India and Sri Lanka are also in discussion in the joint working group constituted to deal with issues related to fishermen.

"India and Sri Lanka are also in discussion in the Joint Working Group constituted to deal with issues related to fishermen and to work out bilateral institutional arrangements for ensuring the safety and security of the fishermen of both countries and addressing such issues in a humane and practical way," Krishna informed.

He also informed that since October 2008, the incidents of apprehension and firing on Indian fishermen in the waters between India and Sri Lanka have come down significantly.

Krishna said both the countries are also making bilateral institutional arrangements for ensuring the safety and security of the fishermen of both countries and addressing such issues in a humane and practical way.

He also said that the welfare, safety and security of our fishermen have always received the highest priority by Government of India.

"Government of India and the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka have consistently taken up issues relating to incidents of firing on or apprehension of our fishermen with the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure that the Sri Lankan Navy act with restraint and our fishermen are treated in a humane manner," Krishna stated. (ANI)

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