Call it a coincidence or a deliberate act, Indo – Sri Lanka cricket is turning out to be a threat for Indian fishermen. They’ve been targeted at least twice after Sri Lankan cricket team lost to India. Four fishermen from Tamil Nadu were shot dead mid sea allegedly by Lankan navy soon after India’s victory against Lanka to win the world cup in April last year.
On Sunday Lankan navy arrested twenty three fishermen from Tamil Nadu and confiscated five of their boats. This after Sri Lanka lost to India on Saturday. The fishing community has renewed its demand for a ban on cricket ties with the island nation.
Historically, till a few decades ago, fishermen from both countries have been fishing across maritime boundaries. Fish available in Indian waters are sought after in Lanka and vice versa. Though such traditions would not be legally binding, India’s gifting of the Katchatheevu Island to Lanka in 1974 severely reduced the space available for Indian fishermen to fish. The deal allows Indians to fish around the island and to dry nets in the island but Lankan navy does not permit it.
India’s inability to resolve this issue over the last three decades is seen as a huge diplomatic failure. For the first time, earlier this year India voted against Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council, bowing to political pressure.