Krishna meets Lankan FM, conveys concern over fishermen deaths

Priyanka Tikoo and Ajay Kaul

Thimphu, Feb 7 (PTI) India today conveyed its "deepconcern" over killing of its fishermen allegedly by Sri LankanNavy as External Affairs Minister S M Krishna met his Lankancounterpart G L Peiris, who said the two countries wereworking to find a "sensible and pragmatic" solution thatendures.

During the 30-minute meeting, Peiris and Krishna agreedon the early convening of the Joint Working Group to discussthe issue of fishermen.

Peiris maintained that his government''s initialinvestigation had shown that its Navy was not involved in thedeath of the Indian fishermen and wanted more evidence, ifany, to prove otherwise so that the matter could be lookedinto in that context.

India has already furnished some evidence and expressedreadiness to give more depending on availability, which isexpected from Tamil Nadu.

"The External Affairs Minister conveyed India''s deepconcern over the death of two Indian fishermen," ExternalAffairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash told reporters afterthe meeting.

Both the sides agreed that force should not be resortedto, Prakash said.

Peiris, who described the issue as a human one, toldKrishna that a thorough investigation was underway.

The Lankan Foreign Minister told reporters that the twocountries were discussing how the issue could be dealt with in"a pragmatic way and I think a multi-pronged approach that hasbeen conceived by two governments will yield a sensible,pragmatic solution which will endure." .

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