Thimpu, Feb 8 (ANI): Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris has said the Sri Lankan Navy was not involved in the killing of Indian fishermen.
Talking to reporters here after meeting with his Indian counterpart SM Krishna, Peiris contended that his government's initial investigation had shown that its Navy was not involved in the death of the Indian fishermen but Sri Lanka is open to any new evidence.
"According to the information available to us the Navy was not responsible for but we are, of course, open to any evidence that may be presented to us. We have seen the satellite picture which indicates that there was no complicity on the part of the Sri Lanka Navy," he added.
In January, the Sri Lankan Navy allegedly killed two Indian fishermen after a trawler reportedly crossed the territorial waters.
India's Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao was sent to Colombo to discuss the issue with the Government of Sri Lanka on (January 30.
Later, both the countries issued a joint statement where they agreed that the Joint Working Group on fishing would be convened at an early to prevent reoccurrence of such incident.
"As per the joint statement released at the end of her visit indicates that there was an agreement on modality - a way forward - which consists of revival of an existing mechanism that is the Joint Working Group. It has not met for some time - since 2006 - and the solution for the future would obviously be to resurrect that mechanism to address this issue and to ensure that there is no reoccurrence," added Peiris.
During the 30-minute parleys, Krishna conveyed India's deep concerns over killing of its fishermen allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy to Peiris.
"The External Affairs Minister conveyed India's deep concern at the death of two Indian fishermen. Both agreed that use of force against fishermen must not be resorted to under any circumstances," said Vishnu Prakash, spokesperson of India's Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Sri Lankan Minister further thanked India for the substantial assistance in rehabilitation of internally displaced persons and reconstruction of infrastructure in northern and eastern parts of the nation.
"The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister thanked the Government of India for the substantial assistance in rehabilitation of internally displaced persons and reconstruction of infrastructure in northern and eastern Sri Lanka," added Vishnu Prakash.
Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir also called on Krishna to express satisfaction regarding his discussion with Nirupama Rao.
"The Pakistani Foreign Secretary underlined the desire of Pakistan to have cordial and co-operative ties with India. He also expressed satisfaction at his discussion with Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao," added Vishnu Prakash. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)