Congres leader wants PM to cancel Sri Lanka visit over Wickramasinghe’s remark

New Delhi(PTI): Condemning Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe’s controversial remarks regarding Indian fishermen, Congress leader V Narayanasamy on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cancel his visit to the island nation scheduled for next week as a mark of protest.

Wickramasinghe had said that Indian fishermen may be shot if they intruded into Lankan waters.

“It is indeed mind boggling that the Lankan Prime Minister had aired a very serious comment and stoked a controversy. His comment is absolutely unacceptable and India should show its strong protest,” he said in a release.

The Prime Minister should call off his plan to visit Sri Lanka as Wickramasinghe’s comment, in an interview to a Tamil channel, had demeaned the Indian fishermen, he said.

Related read: Sri Lankan PM justifies Indian fishermen shooting by Navy, denies they are human rights violations

Stating that the comments had hurt the Indian fishermen and ‘betrayed a situation that a small nation was posing a threat to India, a big country’, he also asked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to cut short her current visit to Sri Lanka to mark India’s strong protest.

Narayanasamy, a former Minister of state in PMO, recalled that during the Congress led UPA Government, Lankan fishermen who strayed into Indian waters were directed to return as it adopted such a approach ‘on humanitarian grounds’.

He said that even after the change of guard in Sri Lanka, incidents of detention of Indian fishermen and their vessels were continuing.