Dire Straits – March 9,2017
Posted on March 10th, 2017
Ira de Silva Canada
Regarding the killing of a Tamil Nadu fisherman “somewhere between the Indian and Sri Lankan coast” on March 7,2017, it is correct that this is an unfortunate result of the long-standing dispute between Tamil Nadu fisherman and Sri Lankan fisherman. What you fail to indicate is, that it is due to the daily incidents of Indian fisherman backed by Tamil Nadu politicians, poaching in Sri Lankan waters, which they believe they can do with impunity, because the Government of Tamil Nadu refuses to recognize international boundaries and encourages the Indian fisherman to violate international law. The Central Government has done nothing to educate Tamil Nadu politicians on international law and continues to do nothing to prevent the Indians continuing to violate the law i.e., provides tacit backing for this illegal activity in it’s policy of being the “bully” of the region.
For “forward movement”, what is needed is that India prevent the Indian fisherman from using bottom trawlers both in Indian and in Sri Lankan waters. The Indians have depleted fish stocks and ruined Indian waters by bottom trawling. The Indian fisherman believe that they have the “right to steal” from Sri Lanka which is supported directly by the politicians in Tamil Nadu with indirect support from the Central Government. As stated by Subraminium Swamy on March 8,2017, the fisherman issue is being made out by some extremist elements in Tamil Nadu for “blowing up the issue out of proportion as they want to separate Tamil Nadu from India which has been a long dream and which dream is never going to come true”. Once again Sri Lanka is being robbed and plundered because of Tamil Nadu and Indian politics. He also states that India should compensate Sri Lanka for it’s losses. However his “solution” that for the time being Indian fisherman can do fishing in Sri Lanka till India re-populates it’s own area is outrageous. Given India’s duplicity, interference, support of Tamil terrorism in Sri Lanka and it’s bullying attitude in the region, it would be the height of stupidity for Sri Lanka to trust India. The irony is that the Tamil Nadu politicians supported by the Central Government claim that they are helping the Sri Lankan Tamils. Is depriving the Sri Lankan fisherman of their livelihood an example of India’s concern for their well being? All Sri Lankans know that India is only concerned for India and do not care what happens to Sri Lankans even if they are Tamil.
The easiest way to “manage” the fishing dispute is for the Tamil Nadu Government and the Central Government to impound the bottom trawlers, increase patrols and arrest the Indian fisherman BEFORE they cross the international boundary. The same applies to Sri Lankan fisherman who go into Indian waters. The Indian attitude is manifested in the statement that the Indian fisherman are invoking “traditional rights” to justify their incursions. They completely disregard the fact that Sri Lanka is a separate country and that Indians do not have any “traditional rights” in Sri Lankan waters. Throughout history, whatever India has taken from Sri Lanka is by aggression, invasion and subterfuge. Also, to ask for a three year phase out period clearly indicates that the Indian intention is to deplete all fish stock in Sri Lankan waters in the Palk Bay. What will the Indian fisherman and India claim at that point? The probable answer is all of Sri Lanka’s territorial waters. If Sri Lanka refuses will India again threaten to invade?
I. de Silva