N Sathiya Moorthy-Senior Fellow at Observer Research Foundation
It is not unlikely that mid-sea episodes involving the fishers from the two countries on the one hand, and the SLN on the side of the Sri Lankan Tamil fishers on the other but within the Sri Lankan territorial waters, could heat up the run-up to the Provincial Council polls, after all. Escalated to new heights during the run-up to the UNHRC’s September session, where again Sri Lanka will be an issue, it could embarrass the Tamil Nadu parties more than they may understand – particularly among the Sri Lankan Tamil constituency in that country’s North – which they say, they are fighting for.
Such a situation could only complicate matters for the Tamil Nadu fishers, even more than already, if a negotiated solution is not found, early on! A delayed settlement to the fishing issue could thus also complicate problems for the Tamils of Sri Lanka, who would be requiring Tamil Nadu’s collective sympathy and constructive support even more in the months, if not years, ahead. Encouragement for deep-sea fishing coupled with an interim working arrangement with Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan Tamil fishers may be the way out, and for good, if ‘mid-sea harassment’ of the Tamil Nadu fishers have to end, and for good. Other methods do not hold any promise – at best, they are only ‘holding operations’, nothing more!