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Sushma Swaraj takes up Tamil fisherman killing issue

By Newsd
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Sushma Swaraj will not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections
Source: aajtak

In a follow-up to the case of the Tamil fisherman who was allegedly killed by soldiers of the Sri Lankan Navy, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told Parliament Thursday the issue has been tossed at the highest level in the Sri Lanka government.

The fisherman was killed on March 6 in Palk Bay after a vessel from Tamil Nadu was fired upon, allegedly by the Lankan naval forces. However, Sri Lanka denied involvement in the matter.

Assuring that the safety of the fishermen was her top priority, she said, “I will again like to reassure the honourable members that the government accords the highest priority to promote the well-being, safety and security of our fishermen. We have strongly conveyed to Sri Lanka that the use of force cannot be justified under any circumstances,”

She also said that the Indian high commissioner has taken the matter to the Sri Lankan prime minister and the navy commander. Although the navy said that it is not authorised to fire on Indian fishermen even when they are crossing the water borders.

“The President of Sri Lanka conveyed to our Vice President in their meeting in Jakarta on March 7 on the sidelines of the Indian Ocean Rim Association Leaders’ Summit his regret at the unfortunate incident and the loss of life. He emphasised that he has ordered a full investigation,” Sushma said.

She further added that India has been actively helping fishermen and secured the release of 1,045 fishermen in 2014, 375 in 2015, 333 in 2016 and 51 in 2017.