Colombo: Sri Lanka and India are discussing new dates for talks between fishermen of the two countries after the scheduled second round of discussions were called off, officials said Thursday.
The Sri Lankan fisheries ministry said that the second round of talks scheduled for Thursday had been cancelled on a request from India, Xinhua reported.
Fisheries ministry spokesman Narendra Rajapaksa said that the Sri Lankan government hoped to facilitate the talks on a fresh date this month.
Indian fishermen had requested that the talks be held March 18 or 19 but Rajapaksa said that a date was yet to be agreed on.
Fishermen from India often stray into Sri Lanka’s northern waters to poach and are arrested by the navy while Sri Lankan fishermen too cross into Indian waters for a better catch.
The issue has resulted in tensions between the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka with Tamil Nadu accusing the Sri Lankan navy of attacking Indian fishermen who cross the international maritime boundary line.
India had requested the release of over 100 Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody ahead of Thursday’s scheduled talks. The Indian fishermen were eventually released by Wednesday which was too late and the talks were called off.