Will cooperate with India to investigate fishermen shooting: Sri Lanka

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Mar. 7 (ANI): In the wake of the alleged shooting incident of an Indian fisherman by the Lankan Navy, Sri Lanka on Tuesday promised to work in cooperation with India to investigate the matter, however, denying the involvement of the Navy.

"Initial investigations indicate that the Sri Lanka Navy is not involved in this alleged incident. Irrespective of the parties involved, if in fact a shooting has taken place, it is a matter of grave concern, and all possible action will be taken, in cooperation with the relevant Indian authorities, to investigate into this incident, utilising GPS technology as well," said an official statement.

The statement added that the Government of Sri Lanka is deeply concerned about the alleged shooting and the connected loss of life of one fisherman and injury caused to another.

"The safety of fishermen is of utmost importance and the Government of Sri Lanka is firm in its commitment to ensuring that all Government agencies treat all Indian fishermen in a humane manner at all times," it said.

It has been reported that a group of Indian fishermen, who were fishing between Danushkodi and Katchatheevu off the Tamil Nadu coast, were allegedly fired upon by small boats of the Sri Lankan Navy, in which one fisherman was killed on Monday night.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Navy has denied any involvement in the incident while stating, "the Sri Lankan Navy patrols in the Northern waters are conducted by Fast Attack Craft and Fast Gun Boats and at no time, are small boats being engaged for patrols off the Northern waters, since Indian trawlers are of quite large size. Even these boats are not authorised to open fire at any point without prior approval of the Commander of the Navy." (ANI)