Fisheries Issue Main Focus During President's Meeting With Indian Defence Secretary

Sri lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today told the Indian Defence Secretary that the country’s fisheries resources would be completely depleted for both Sri Lanka and India if bottom trawling practices continued.

The President made these remarks when he met Indian Defence Secretary R.K. Mathur at the President's House in Kandy this morning.

"The destruction caused to the environment is the biggest problem," President Rajapaksa said. "We have banned bottom trawling."

However, both parties expressed confidence that dialogue between officials and affected parties would help bring a solution to the problem.

Among the range of matters that came into focus during the meeting, President Rajapaksa and the Indian Defence Secretary also discussed expanding training between the various military arms of the two countries.

 Mathur told the President that training experiences of Sri Lankan military officials in India had been conducted in a satisfactory manner.

 "There are a whole lot of things we would also like to learn from Sri Lanka," Mathur said.

President Rajapaksa has continuously maintained that cooperation between Sri Lanka and India in the sector of defence is an important aspect of the strong friendship shared by the two South Asian neighbours.

The Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha, Joint Secretary of India's Ministry of Defence Ram Suhag Singh and Joint Secretary of India's Ministry of External Affairs SuchitraDurai accompanied the Indian Defence Secretary.  

Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Kshenuka Senewiratne and Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera were also present.

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