Sri Lankan government has come in for a strong criticism by the opposition, which accused it of failure to stop continuous incidents of alleged poaching by Indian fishermen in its waters. "This shows the levels the government has fallen into. They can't stop the Indians from coming," Dinesh Gunawardena, the leader of the opposition group backing former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, told parliament yesterday. "Our northern fishermen are in distress.
Recently there was this religious event in the Kachchathivu, there were a large number of Indian devotees there. We have come to agreement to allow certain days of fishing for the Indians in the northern seas. So why can't the Indian government stop poaching?" Gunawardena asked. Sri Lankan fishermen accuse their Indian counterparts of poaching in their waters in the northern seas. Lankan authorities say the Indian fishermen also indulge in bottom trawling, and have expressed concern over the alleged practice which they say destroys marine resources. Sri Lanka is contemplating new laws to confiscate equipment of Indians accused of poaching despite their release through the legal process.