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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Indian Media: Resolve ‘Sticky’ Issues With Sri Lanka

[ Fisherman’s issue one of the main issues]

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj before a meeting in Delhi on January 18, 2015 Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in Delhi on Sunday
Papers back India and Sri Lanka’s renewed bid to resolve the “sticky” issue of fishermen violating the maritime boundary between the neighbours.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera discussed the issue with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in Delhi on Sunday.

India-Sri Lanka ties have been affected in recent years because coastal authorities in both countries frequently arrest fishermen who allegedly violate the international maritime boundary.

Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in Delhi on Sunday
Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in Delhi on Sunday

In an effort to resolve the issue, a meeting of the fishermen’s associations of the two countries has been proposed, reports say.

After the ministers’ meeting, India’s external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the countries felt a long-term solution must be planned to deal with the issue.

“But as an interim approach, we feel that the issue needs to be dealt with in a humane manner, taking into account the livelihoods on both sides,” the DNA quotes Mr Akbaruddin as saying.

Colombo, meanwhile, has decided to release some seized Indian boats as a goodwill gesture, reports say

“The Sri Lanka minister conveyed that they were working on a modus operandi [to release] the boats of Indian fishermen. Approximately 87 boats of Indian fishermen are in custody of Sri Lankan authorities,” the Deccan Chronicle reports.

Papers also feel that Mr Samaraweera’s visit highlights the “new warmth” in ties after the recent change in Sri Lanka’s leadership.

“The visit is being seen both as the new Sri Lankan government’s resolve to boost ties with India, as well as Delhi’s keenness to get down to business immediately with Colombo’s new regime,” the NDTV website says.

Earlier this month, Maithripala Sirisena defeated long-time leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to become the island country’s new president.

‘Media trials’
In some domestic news, Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley has said parallel “media trials” put “tremendous pressure” on courts and must be avoided.

Speaking on the “freedom and responsibility of media”, Mr Jaitley urged the media to introspect on television debates that discuss cases under investigation, The Hindu reports.

Mr Jaitley also said that the government was planning to introduce “limitations” to media’s coverage of security operations in view of what happened during the 26 November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

“We’ve have intelligence information to say that because Indian television had decided to bring the 26/11 reporting almost in real-time as to what action was being taken, the terrorists inside the hotels were being informed on their satellite phones by their handlers as to what the Indian security forces were doing,” The Indian Express quotes Mr Jaitley as saying.

Nearly 200 people were killed and hundreds injured in a series of co-ordinated attacks in the city which India blamed on the Pakistan-based banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Fake websites
And finally, police have arrested a man in Delhi who was running fake government websites to cheat people, the Hindustan Times reports.

The 43-year-old suspect was operating from West Bengal state and had cheated about 50 people, the paper says.

One of the websites offered government loans with the aim of cheating people, The Times of India says.

The investigation team found “the website was hosted on a server located in the US, thus confirming that it was a fake one and not hosted by the government of India,” the paper says.

The suspect reportedly told the police that he used his experience of e-commerce to create fake websites and cheat people.


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