Sri Lankan fishermen not satisfied with the outcome of the Indo-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group meeting on fishermen’s issues; President Mahinda Rajapaksa attends Cricket World Cup final in Mumbai;
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  • According to reports, the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NFSM), the umbrella body of the Sri Lankan fishermen’s associations was not satisfied with the outcome of the Indo-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group meeting on fishermen’s issues which was ended on March 29.1 Meanwhile reports noted that Indian Navy had captured three Sri Lankan fishermen who were poaching in Indian waters and handed them over to law enforcement authorities. In keeping with the practical arrangements in force between the two countries, Indian authorities were taking steps to release them from custody and to arrange for their early repatriation to Sri Lanka.2 However, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has allowed the three-member UN advisory panel appointed by the UN Chief to visit Sri Lanka to give evidence to the LLRC, but, did not allow to carry out any investigations in Sri Lanka.3

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa along with 30 member delegates attended the cricket World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 2.4 Reports noted that around 600 Sri Lankan refugees, who were in various countries, had returned home, mainly to Trincomalee and Mannar, with the assistance of the UNHCR during the first three months of this year.5

    Sri Lankan Government has revoked the suspension on the import of power sets from India after the company, Rail India Technical Economic Services (RITES Ltd), gave quality assurance.6 External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris has urged European countries to remain vigilant regarding LTTE activities in their territories stating that the LTTE was a threat not only to Sri Lanka, but also for the security of Europe as recognized by Europol.7

    In other developments, a US business delegation paid a courtesy call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa on March 30. The Acting Minister of External Affairs Neomal Perera, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Karunatilaka Amunugama and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States Jaliya Wickramasuriya were also present on this occasion.8