The issue of Indian fishermen being reportedly killed by the Sri Lankan Navy will be taken up by Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed with the island government during his visit to Colombo for the SAARC meet at this month end.
Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister Arcot N Veerasamy on Thursday said, "I spoke to Ahamed over phone and explained about the current situation regarding our fishermen. He assured me that the matter would be taken up with the Sri Lankan Government when he attends the SAARC meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon."
He was replying to the demands from Opposition MLAs in the assembly to ensure safety of Indian fishermen.
Pointing out that Indian fishermen get into trouble when they drift frequently into Sri Lankan waters, he said the state government in order to ensure their safety had given them identity cards. "They have also been advised not to venture into Sri Lankan waters," he added.
"Apart from this, the Indian Navy also conducts frequent patrols with the Indian fishermen to ensure that they do not drift into the Sri Lankan boundary," he said.
On the Katchatheevu issue, on which PMK staged a walkout in the assembly today, he said the state government alone cannot solve the problem unless the centre initiates appropriate measures.