Sri Lankan fishing vessels allowed to cross Maldivian waters

A new agreement between the Maldives and Sri Lanka will allow Sri Lankan fishing vessels to cross Maldivian territorial waters enroute to the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror reported.

The fishermen have been taking a detour to avoid entering Maldivian waters, but the new agreement will allow them through passage with advance notice given to the Sri Lankan diplomatic authorities in the Maldives.

Vessels found poaching in Maldivian waters would be prosecuted, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of External Affairs was reported as stating in the Mirror.

The Maldives has also released seven Sri Lankan trawlers taken into custody on suspection of poaching in Maldivian waters.

Local news outlet Sun Online meanwhile reported the head of the DRP’s fishermen’s branch Ali Solih as saying that the deal was “an insult to Maldivian fisherman” and “a dangerous deal”, as the Maldives did not have the capacity to monitor illegal fishing.

The Mirror also reported that Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Neomal Perera had arranged for the repatriation of a Sri Lankan woman accused of killing her husband, after she attempted suicide while in custody.