NIAS Discussion Meeting: “Fishing Conflicts In The Palk Bay: Are the Indian Fishermen 'Carefully Careless'?”

NIAS Wednesday Discussion Meeting


Topic: “FISHING CONFLICTS IN THE PALK BAY: Are the Indian Fishermen 'Carefully Careless'?”


Speaker: Dr. M. Mayilvaganan

Assistant Professor, Intn’l Strategic and Security Studies Programme, NIAS


Chairperson:    Dr. Arun Vishwanathan

Assistant Professor, Intn’l Strategic and Security Studies Programme, NIAS


Date: 29th June, 2016

Time: 9.30 am

Venue: Lecture Hall, NIAS


All are cordially invited


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Abstract: The already troubled waters of the Palk Bay were further muddied with the arrest of eleven fishermen in the first week of this month and confiscation of their trawlers by the Sri Lankan navy over illegal fishing. This contentious and flammable issue has not only makes headlines in the local and foreign media, but also been a serious issue in Tamil Nadu. From time to time, it stirs the resentment of the fisher folk and political parties in Tamil Nadu, leading to demonstrations and even violent protests. Above all, often boils into a major political controversy with the national and state political parties blaming each other for the crisis besides bringing in Tamil Nadu government directly against the Centre. Although these fishermen arrests and political debates in the state continue for many years, the big question is whether the underlying issues had been sidestepped and actually smouldered beneath the embers for years. Particularly, the pertinent questions are: Why do Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu cross the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) despite these frequent arrests, assaults and confiscation of their fishing vessel by the Sri Lankan navy, again and again? Are they ‘carefully careless’ on the IMBL and the threat to their lives? Have the Tamil Nadu government and political parties intentionally ignore the legality of IMBL and sovereignty of Sri Lanka on Katchatheevu Island and their waters? Are the state and the centre disinclined to address and resolve this ‘livelihood’ issue that confront Tamil fishermen?


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Wednesday, June 29, 2016