Will shoot Indian fishermen if they enter our waters: Sri Lankan PM
Colombo: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the island nation, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramesinghe on Friday made a contentious comment saying it was their right to shoot Indian fishermen crossing Sri Lankan borders.
"If someone tries to break into my house, I can shoot. If he gets killed, law allows me to do that," he said in the interview to Thanthi TV broadcast on Friday night. "This is our waters. Fishermen of Jaffna should be allowed to fish. We stopped them from fishing. That's why the Indian fishermen came in. They (Jaffna fishermen) are willing to have a deal. Let's have a reasonable settlement but not at the cost of the livelihood of northern fishermen," the Times of India quoted him saying.
He made the comment in an interview to a Sri Lankan television channel even when Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is in the country ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit.
Modi's final stop will be Sri Lanka, on March 13-14, during which he will hold meetings with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Modi will address a Special Sitting of the Sri Lankan Parliament and also lay a wreath at the Indian Peace Keeping Force ( IPKF) Memorial and visit the Mahabodhi Society. President Maithripala Sirisena will host a state banquet in honour of the visiting Indian prime minister, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said.
Modi is also expected to travel to Anuradhapura, Talaimannar and Jaffna. In Anuradhapura, he will visit the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi. While in Jaffna, he will unveil a plaque at the site of the proposed India- funded Jaffna Cultural Centre and also hand over to beneficiaries, houses built with Indian assistance. In Talaimannar, he will flag off the first train signifying recommencement of the Talaimannar/Medawachchiya sector of the train service to Colombo, following the rehabilitation work carried out with Indian credit assistance, said the foreign ministry.
Modi's visit is the first official visit to Sri Lanka by an Indian prime minister in 27 years after the 1987 visit by then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. He will accorded a ceremonial welcome including a Guard of Honour and Gun Salute.
(With agency inputs)
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