PM Modi-Rajapaksa summit: Two leaders to discuss over fishermen issue among key bilateral topics
New Delhi, Sep 26: The issue revolving around fishing will be a key point in the bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa during their virtual summit today.
On Saturday, Rajapaksa's media office said that the prime minister held talks with a large contingent of local fishing organisations on Friday and the issue between the two countries would be a major point of discussion.
It can be seen that the summit is being held on the initiative of Prime Minister Modi who had a telephonic conversation with the newly-appointed Sri Lankan prime minister on August 6 this year.
Rajapaksa's office said that since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Indian authorities no longer prevent their fishermen straying into local waters for poaching. This has caused hardships for the local fishing community.
Fishing by Indians in the Sri Lankan waters has been a recurring problem and has figured at high-level talks between the two neighbours in the past.
However, Rajapaksa assured them that the issue would be taken up with the Indian leader and the Sri Lankan Navy should arrest anyone carrying out poaching in the country's waters.
The interaction between the two leaders is also expected to focus on the full gamut of bilateral engagement inter-alia political, economic, finance, development, defence and security spheres, educational, tourism and cultural as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.