Sri Lankan court on 26 December 2013 extended the remand of 111 Indian fishermen, who were caught by the Navy of the country in December 2013. The Trincomalee magistrate’s court has extended the remand on the charges of violating the international maritime boundary.
The court has held 6 January 2013 to review the case. The same court, earlier also extended the remand of two groups of 30 fishermen each.
Rajitha Senaratne, the Fisheries Minister of Sri Lanka has said that none of the boats or the fishermen of India will be released until the 200 Sri Lankan fishermen, who are in the custody of the India were released.
As per the Fisheries Minister of Sri Lanka, the two countries will held a meeting of the representative of the fishermen’s associations of the two countries in January 2013. Also the Senaratne will visit New Delhi in January 2013 to discuss the issue with Sharad Pawar, the Union Agriculture Minister, who also holds the charge of the Indian fisheries department.
Maritime Boundaries: India and Sri Lanka
The Government of the Republic of India and the Republic of Sri Lanka signed an agreement on 23 March 1976, establishing maritime boundaries in the Gulf of Manaar and the Bay of Bengal. Ratifications were exchanged and the agreement entered into force on 10 May 1976, two years after the two countries negotiated a boundary in the Palk Strait.
Article V of the signed agreement mentions
(1) Each Party shall have sovereignty over the historic waters and territorial sea, as well as over the islands, falling on its side of the aforesaid boundary.
(2) Each Party shall have sovereign rights and exclusive jurisdiction over the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone as well as over their resources, whether living or non-living, falling on its side of the aforesaid boundary.
(3) Each Party shall respect rights of navigation through its territorial sea and exclusive economic zone in accordance with its laws and regulations and the rules of international law.
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