Chennai:India can establish the traditional rights of its fishermen to fish in the Bay of Bengal, including inside Sri Lankan waters, by approaching the International Court of Justice, said PMK founder S. Ramadoss on Saturday.
In a statement issued here, Ramadoss said as per international laws traditional rights are legally enforceable.
Indian fishermen have a traditional right to fish in the Bay of Bengal between India and Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan president or prime minister cannot refuse the right if India stresses on it, Ramadoss said.
“It is painful that the Indian government is not doing that. This right could be established by approaching the International Court of Justice,” he said.
Ramadoss said the Indian government should take drastic action against Sri Lanka to secure the legal fishing rights of its fishermen.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena recently said that the navy has been instructed to arrest those who are fishing in Sri Lankan waters and confiscate their boats.
His statement comes after Indian fishermen had asked permission to fish in Sri Lankan waters for 83 days in a year at the bilateral talks held between the fishermen associations of the two countries here.
Citing this, Ramadoss said the Sri Lankan government has turned down the Indian fishermen's request.
He said on Friday night 33 Indian fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy while fishing in the Bay of Bengal.
Ramadoss said like Indian fishermen entering Sri Lankan waters, fishermen from Sri Lanka too enter Indian waters.