Palks’s Strait Fishery Dispute a Beggar’s Wound
Posted on March 12th, 2015

R Chandrasoma

A begger’s wound is coddled and kept on because it excites sympathy and donations that are mightily useful to the beggar. In politics and international relations there is a curious counterpart to this – where disputes often of a very serious nature are deliberately kept unresolved in pursuance of higher political goals. The territorial disputes between India and Pakistan are clearly of this kind –where one party will (arguably) lose face if a settlement is reached.

Let us turn to the ‘affair’ of fishing in the region between the Peninsula tip of India and Northern Sri Lanka (Palk Strait). This shallow sea is ideal for a destructive trawling of the sea-bed and the Indians do it without a care for the long-term damage to the marine ecosystem. The pertinent point is this – they do not recognize the sovereign right of Sri Lanka to demarcate areas of the seabed that are out of bounds for Indian fisherman. They waffle on this issue but it is clear that they are using this dispute as a beggar’s wound – a means of unsettling a weak neighbor and sending a message to separatists that their Great Neighbour is eager and willing to joust with their ‘oppressor’. Is it an intractable problem to draw with great precision the maritime boundary between India and Sri Lanka in the region of Palk Strait? Is the Indian Navy incapable of policing this area  for would-be law-breakers? Cannot International observers be hired? In this age of GPS and advanced navigation systems can we really believe that ships make elementary navigational errors and fish gaily in the coastal waters of another nation?

The newly elected President of our country went to India recently and it was announced that the ‘dispute’ between India and Sri Lanka on matters of fishing in the Palk Strait would be a principal theme in the bilateral discussions envisaged. There is no report of discussions or results – unsurprisingly since the beggar’s wound must be kept open in the strategic interests of our large and powerful neighbor.

9 Responses to “Palks’s Strait Fishery Dispute a Beggar’s Wound”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    The ONLY problem here is the NATIONAL SECURITY PROBLEM of SL. Fish “resource” and other BS are IRRELEVENT.

    GAME THEORY should apply. SL fishermen should also do BOTTOM TRAWLERING and DESTROY this “resource”. It is ANYWAY of NO USE to SL. So STOP protecting it. Protecting this fishing resource is like trying to protect a prostitute from other users!!

    Just EXPLOIT this to the maximum so that Endians, etc. will NOT invade SL waters as there will be NOTHING there.

    If someone puts a padlock to a common gate (this happens in Wellawatte, etc. Tamil ghettoes), what should you do? You also put another padlock. Then the aggressor gets a dose of his OWN medicine and will not do it again.

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    This problem has been created by Tamil Nadu fishermen. It is a Tamil Nadu problem created in the sea on their side. It is not a Sri Lankan problem.

  3. Indrajith Says:

    NFF asks what right National Executive Council has to decide on arresting Gotabhaya
    March 12, 2015, 9:56 pm

    By Dasun Edirisinghe

    The National Freedom Front (NFF) yesterday charged that the National Executive Council was doing what the Tamil Diaspora and Western powers had been campaigning for since defeating the LTTE militarily.

    NFF Spokesman and former MP Mohammed Muzammil, addressing a media conference at the party head office at Battaramulla, said the Tamil Diaspora and Western powers sympathetic to the LTTE were demanding that the war heroes who had defeated the LTTE be put behind bars.

    “Today, the NEC of the good governance regime does the very same. There are many media reports that the NEC had unanimously decided to arrest former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Cabinet spokesman Dr Rajitha Senaratne, too, has told state media that the NEC made a decision to arrest former Defence Secretary. Similarly, leader of NSSP Dr Wickremabahu Karunaratne, too, told media that the NEC was planning to arrest Mr Rajapaksa,” Muzammil said.

    “It is now clear that the incumbent government is hunting the country’s leaders who made the country’s victory against the LTTE possible. Former Navy Spokesman D. K. P. Dassanayake has been grilled by the CID and there is a move to hunt former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda. Now, the good governance masters are making public statements on the impending arrest of the former Defence Secretary.”

    Muzammil said the conduct of the NEC was very dubious. “On what grounds can they discuss the arrest of people? Arrests can be made by the police, but that, too, on court orders. So we can see that the NEC is not a national council but a hunting council,” the NFF spokesman said.

    “Who is the NEC comprised of? One of the members is former TNA leader R Sampanthan, who has been demanding a separate state within this country and been working under the instructions of LTTE political wing leader Tamil Chelvan. Then there is Wickremabahu Karunaratne, who publicly campaigned for Tamil Eelam. Another champion of the Eelam cause Mano Ganeshan, too, is a member of the NEC. These are the people who have decided to arrest our war heroes who liberated the country from terrorism. We ask people whether they will let these LTTE and Tamil Diaspora proxies to hunt our warheroes.”

  4. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    THE BOAT OWNERS ARE THE ULTRA RICH INDIANS, MOSTLY FROM TAMIL NADU. THE FISHERMEN ARE POOR PEOPLE /FISHERMEN, WHO ARE ASKED TO BREACH THE MARITIME LAWS TO BRING IN THE CATCH. THEY HAVE TO BE STOPPED, PERIOD.

    LORENZO, I KNOW YOU ARE A WISE GUY. DONT PROPOSE TO CUT THE NOSE TO SPITE THE FACE.

    The Chief Minister of the NPC is deaf and dumb and TOTALLY BLIND, to the problem of the poor Tamil Northern Fishermen.

    The President went and spoke to MODI. What Happened ?? Nothing. They have to keep the Beggars Wound going, IT IS DAMNING POLITICAL HYPOCRISY.

    Fishermen will be arrested for crossing the line. Then, the President and Prime Minister, each does a GOOD TURN, ordering the fishermen released. So it will be an on-going thing for the next century, THE BEGGARS WOUND.

    Watch for the coming events. FISH WILL BE IMPORTED TO SRI LANKA, FROM ANY COUNTRY.

  5. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    INDRAJITH !!!

    War Heroes are silently waiting to see what is going to happen. It wont be long before one war hero gets a T56 into his hand. They are not going to take it so lightly. These people are stirring the emotions of the War Heroes to the maximum.
    There will be a bursting point.

  6. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    INDRAJITH !!!

    The NEC has no legal powers to arrest anybody. It is only the IGP and the Attorney General can make such orders. The YAHA PALANAYAS ARE ACTING LIKE A BULL IN A CHINA SHOP. THEY ARE SEETHING WITH INSANE FURY, AND AVENGE. These buggers are going to learn a very good lesson soon. It wont be long.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    Tamil Nadu leaders together with Sri Lanka Tamil leaders have cleverly thrust two of their main problems on Sri Lanka :

    (1) Tamil Dalit issues

    (2) Tamil Nadu fishermen problems

    Why do Sri Lankan leaders accept these as Lanka problems ! They are not ! It is high time there was a clarion call to say so, from all who care about the Unitary status of the Lanka state.

    Lanka offers free education & health care for all her citizens. There is no discrimination of Tamils in Lanka.

    STOP ALL ILLEGAL MIGRATION INTO LANKA. DEPORT ALL ILLEGAL MIGRANTS FROM TAMIL NADU AND MALDIVES ETC.

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    As far as Discrimination goes, it is the Tamil Leaders of Lanka who discriminate against their own Tamils of Lanka.

    Proof :

    (1) Only some 20% + funds given by the last GoSL have been used by the Tamil PC of the North, thus keeping Tamils of the North down and in need. This is probably thought of as Discrimination of Tamils of the North by foreign sources who are not aware that the Tamil PCs are deliberately not using the funds that the GoSL provides.

    (2) The CWC has not responded to the last governments call to move the Upcountry Tamil tea pluckers out of the tea estate line rooms. Why is that except to keep the Tamil tea pluckers down in the near slave conditions line rooms that the British, who got them down to Lanka to do tea plucking, imposed on them ?

  9. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Susantha: I full agree. The war ended on 5 YEARS AGO. the thousands of Soldiers who fought that war and won it under Rajapakse could end up forming a coalition against Colombo. A MILITARY COUP CANNOT BE RULED OUT. IT IS THEN AND HOPEFULLY BEFORE THAT THE BUDDHIST ORDER AND THE MILITARY COME TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF POWERS.

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