The Tamil National Alliance that now self-rules the north of Sri Lanka is afraid to rub its benefactor India the wrong way on the issue and it is left to the Sri Lankan Government to take up cudgels. Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of Fisheries met the Indian naval chief this week on the sidelines of the Galle Dialogue and complained, but was met with stoic silence.
The Indians have upped the ante in recent weeks by starting to arrest Sri Lankan fishermen on their way to international waters in the Arabian Sea as a tit-for-tat for the arrest of Indian fishermen systematically poaching in Sri Lankan waters with the connivance of the Indian authorities. The Indian activities are reportedly a violation of the Law of the Sea Convention of enabling “innocent passage” to fishermen merely passing through. Most of those arrested are Sinhala-Catholics from the south of Sri Lanka.