Sri Lankan Navy did not shoot at Indian fishermen – SL Navy Commander

Sri Lankan Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne on Sunday (March 12) denied allegations by Indian fishermen that the Sri Lanka Navy had opened fire on Indian fishing vessels recently.

Responded to a question raised by a journalist, after attending the Feast of St. Anthony’s Sacred Church located on Kachchativu Island, as to why there had been no Indian presence at the annual Feast, he said, “Indian fishermen had boycotted the feast due to an incident where they claimed that the SL Navy had fired at an Indian fishing boat in Sri Lankan waters, which is totally false”.

Mr. Wijegunaratne said that even for a warning shot is fired at a boat it has to be to receive the approval of the Navy Commander. “I never authorised such a thing. We don’t need to fire at them. If foreign fishermen are captured in Sri Lankan waters, the protocol is to arrest them and produce them before courts.

However, there is an ongoing inquiry about the incident being conducted by the Navy Deputy Chief of Staff,” he said.

The Navy Commander said that the SL Navy is presently maintaining a close relationship with the Indian Navy. He said if the shooting did take place it should have been reported to the Indian Navy and they should report it to our Navy immediately.