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Ravi and Rajitha debate over issues pertaining to fishing activities

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Ravi_vs_RajithaSpeaking in Parliament yesterday, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake drew attention to the issues that have surfaced over fishing activities between India and Sri Lanka..

MP Ravi Karunanayake:

’’When we visited Jaffna recently, fishermen in the area said that Indian fishermen continue to enter Sri
Lankan waters and are trying to create problems. As the Minister of Fisheries what steps will you take to address this issue?.

Minister Rajitha:

We will take steps to secure their release without them being subjected to legal proceedings. The  number of detainees in 2009 stood at 779 but today that number has reduced to 36. Yesterday too, I  held discussions with our counterparts in India and they requested that a small portion of our waters be provided to them. We did not reach an agreement on this. We told them to accept the international maritime law.

MP Ravi Karunanayake:

During the UNP regime, there was a good relationship with the Indian government however, today it is
deteriorating day by day. Why aren’t steps being taken to rectify this. Antony Fernando from Puttalam died during protests to reduce fuel prices. However, to date the concessionary rates have not been
granted. I know you are pushing for this. However, fishermen say that they are not receiving it.

Minister Rajitha: No problems have cropped up relating to the granting of fuel subsides to fishermen.