Sri Lankan Navy Accused of Killing Young Indian Fisherman

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Sri Lanka's High Commission denies accusations that the Navy was responsible for the killing of an Indian fisherman, and the wounding of two others in the Indian Ocean. The High Commissioner promises an investigation.

Indian news outlets say the government has expressed (quote), "deep concern" about the death of an Indian fisherman in the Palk Straits of the Indian Ocean, allegedly at the hands of the Sri Lankan Navy.

Sri Lanka's High Commissioner responded on Thursday, saying that the Navy had not been involved and that their naval forces were under strict orders not to fire at fishermen.

[Prasad Kariyawasam, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India]:
"Our inquires reveal that Sri Lanka Navy was not involved and our Sri Lanka Navy is under strict orders, never to fire at fishermen even if they cross international border line towards Sri Lanka. Since we have officially been informed by the Government of India with regard of this incident, we will still conduct an inquiry to find the veracity of the allegation and we will find out the truth."

One fisherman was critically injured in the incident with another appearing to have been injured.

Kariyawasam says according to his intelligence, the Sri Lankan navy was not in the area at the time of the incident.

[Prasad Kariyawasam, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India]:
"We really don't know. We have to find out because Sri Lankan Navy says that they were not present in that area and they never crossed into the Indian borders (territorial waters) and never shot at any fishermen. Since we have (an) official's complaint, we are still investigating."

The dead fisherman has been identified as Pandian, age 20.

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