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QUESTION NO.1150 SUMMONING OF DIPLOMAT

December 03, 2021

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.1150
TO BE ANSWERED ON 03.12.2021

SUMMONING OF DIPLOMAT

1150. SHRI S. VENKATESAN:

Will the Minister of External Affairs be pleased to state:

(a) whether the Government recently summoned a senior diplomat and lodged a protest/asking the Pakistani forces to desist from unprovoked firing on innocent fisherman in Thane;

(b) the details of diplomatic efforts made by the Government with the Government of Sri Lanka regarding attacks on Tamil fisherman during the current year;

(c) whether the Government of Tamil Nadu has also sought the intervention of the Union Government in this regard; and

(d) if so, the following action taken up by the Union Government thereon?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN]

(a) On 08 November 2021, the Ministry of External Affairs summoned a senior diplomat from the High Commission for Pakistan, New Delhi to lodge a strong protest regarding an incident of unprovoked firing upon an Indian fishing boat ‘Jalpari’ by Pakistani agencies on 6 November 2021 which resulted in the death of one Indian fisherman and serious injury to another.

Government of Pakistan was called upon to conduct an inquiry into the incident and to instruct its forces to refrain from such acts of unprovoked firing. It was also reiterated that the issue of fishermen should be considered as a humanitarian and livelihood matter.

(b) The fishermen issues have been raised with the Government of Sri Lanka at the highest levels through diplomatic channels. This year, the External Affairs Minister (EAM) during his visit to Colombo from 5-7 January 2021, met the Minister of Fisheries of Sri Lanka and discussed all issues related to Indian fishermen. The issue also figured in Foreign Secretary’s discussions with the Sri Lankan dignitaries during his visit to Sri Lanka from 2-5 October 2021. The need to deal with issues pertaining to fishermen in a humane manner was reiterated to the Government of Sri Lanka. It was also stressed that existing understandings between the two Governments in this regard must be strictly observed and both sides should ensure that there was no use of force under any circumstances.

(c) & (d) The Government of Tamil Nadu has written to the Government of India highlighting cases of alleged attacks on Indian fishermen. Government of India attaches the highest priority to the safety, security and welfare of Indian fishermen. As soon as such reports regarding Indian fishermen are received, the Government through diplomatic channels takes up the matter with the Government of Sri Lanka.

Following the 2+2 initiative in November 2016, when the Foreign and Fisheries Ministers of the two countries met in New Delhi, a bilateral Joint Working Group (JWG) mechanism and meeting of the Ministers for Fisheries of the two countries was institutionalized to address the fishermen issues with Sri Lanka. On 30 December 2020, the 4th Round of JWG was organized between the two governments where the entire gamut of issues related to fishermen was discussed.

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