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SL commander denies navy shot at Indian fishermen

Sri Lanka's navy commander on Sunday rejected reports that officers had fired shots towards Tamil Nadu fisherman and their vessels over recent weeks. 

His statement came after Tamil Nadu fishermen said one of their colleagues was shot dead by the Sri Lankan navy on March 6, and many fishermen boycotted the annual Kachchativu feast in protest at the attacks by the navy. 

“Indian fishermen had boycotted the feast due to an incident where they claimed that the SL Navy had fired at an Indian fishing boat in Sri Lankan waters, which is totally false”. Sri Lanka's navy commander, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying at the event on Sunday. 

Stating that even the firing of a warning shot requires authorisation from himself, he added, “I never authorised such a thing."

"We don’t need to fire at them. If foreign fishermen are captured in Sri Lankan waters, the protocol is to arrest them and produce them before courts. With the technology available, any Navy officer can contact me directly. However, there is an ongoing inquiry about the incident being conducted by the Navy Deputy Chief of Staff,” said Vice Admiral Wijegunaratne.