8 August, 2022


Ranil’s Right To Shoot: For Pete’s Sake This Is Not A Declaration Of War

By Nishthar Idroos

Nishthar Idroos

Nishthar Idroos

The Indian media has gone schizoid over what Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had said about Indian fisherman straying into Sri Lankan waters. For Pete’s sake this is not a declaration war, it’s certainly not a declaration of love either. It’s a simple and innocent reminder and reiteration that no one should dare to violate the sovereignty of a friendly neighbor. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe only knows too well the infamous parippu drop by the then Prime Minister of India Mr Rajiv Gandhi. This was doubtless a blatant act of aggression calculatingly launched on a neighbor who is intimately connected to India historically and many other ways.

It was a flagrant act of oppression which most Sri Lankans haven’t forgotten. Our self-respect and dignity was compromised. Did India ever apologize to Sri Lanka for its act of rowdism? So why would she go bonkers over a statement when she is the one who went well and beyond and made the loathsome act of transgression in 1987. Let me also remind the restless Indian media that the Gandhi/Dixit era was a very dark period in Indo-Lanka relations. I am irresistibly propelled to go into graphic detail of the horror that characterized this period yet out of respect I would curb my penchant.

Some politicians in India went to the extent of condemning the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe quite unnecessarily for the supposedly controversial remarks regarding Indian fishermen and had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cancel his visit. Anyone with functioning faculties watching the interview would doubtless give consideration to the context, tone, atmosphere, non-verbal factors and conclude that it was nothing but a very friendly reminder to respect limits. Stealing another countries resource is no good neighborly relations.

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Ranil Wickremesinghe

We’ve never heard of unfolding red carpet to intruders. Its mind boggling that so much steam had been released over something really insignificant. The statement made by the Sri Lankan Prime Minister is an honest legitimate statement. He is after all the Prime Minister and is well empowered by the people to make appropriate statements to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. I am happy atleast one Sri Lankan leader summoned the courage to   air a very important comment though it stoked an unexpected and unintended controversy.

The Tamil-majority region in Sri Lanka, hit out at Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for his controversial comments on shooting trespassing Indian fishermen. Mr C. V. Wigneswaran had apparently said, “That is not the way for a head of government to say to a friendly country. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had kicked up a storm, saying Indian fishermen will be shot at if they violate the maritime border. “If someone tries to break into my house, I can shoot. Why are you coming into our waters? Why are you fishing in our waters? Stay on the Indian side. There will be no issue,” Wickremesinghe had said.

Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran , a respected member of the Tamil community and an ex-Supreme court judge also joined the bandwagon. I sympathize with the gentleman and fully understand his frustrations. His hands are being tied by the Central Government. He is unable to find permanent solutions to the various problems faced by his people. Mr C. V. Wigneswaran should pay heed to the sincere advice extended by the Indian Prime Minister. The Chief Minister should work with the Central Government without resorting to any form of antagonism. We don’t need another hero. The people in the north need leaders with character and intelligence and Mr Wigneswaran is quite emblematic of that combination, yet a leader also needs tons of patience which the Chief Minister should work on.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was making a clean breast of the affairs and he was not for all needs and purposes stoking any controversy. By jumping the gun Chief Minister Wigneswaran lost a great opportunity to work with the new Prime Minister who is genuinely interested in finding a permanent resolution to the problem. There are lots of issues at stake and an intelligent man like Chief Minister Wigneswaran need not be told how to do things especially in the context of a brutal war that came to halt in 2009 and the highway robbery that ensued till 2015. Lives of Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims alike were lost and billions of dollars worth properties and national wealth destroyed and plundered. Immaturity is not a suitable instrument to navigate the future.

The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the most comprehensive attempt at creating a unified regime for governance of the rights of nations with respect to the world’s oceans. The treaty addresses a number of topics including navigational rights, economic rights, and pollution of the seas, conservation of marine life, scientific exploration, piracy, and more. The treaty, one of the longest in history, is comprised of 320 articles and 9 annexes, representing the codification of customary international law and its progressive development. Sri Lanka’s Formal Confirmation, Accession, Succession and Ratification of this convention was completed before India did. So we have the right of the senior and can certainly remind our friendly neighbor.

Let’s hope the two nations can work together in a peaceful and diplomatic manner. What’s at stake here is the livelihood of the fisherman of northern peninsular of Sri Lanka. They went through hell and need not go through it for the second time during peace times. We wish the winds of Yahapalanaya would embrace northern Sri Lanka and resolve their problems one by one. Patience and Character are really important to achieve this.

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  • 13

    Nishthar Idroos –

    RE: Ranil’s Right To Shoot: For Pete’s Sake This Is Not A Declaration Of War

    “The Indian media has gone schizoid over what Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had said about Indian fisherman straying into Sri Lankan waters.”

    “This was doubtless a blatant act of aggression calculatingly launched on a neighbor who is intimately connected to India historically and many other ways.”

    Yes. Payback time for parippu drop. Just shoot the robbers. Give one, warning shot.

    The Indians have a habbit of stealing from Lanka, the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

    First came the Para-dershi, Paras, from India, South and East India, Dravidastan, and introduced two alien languages that evolved to Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamil, spoken by the Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamil.

    Now the Door is closed.

    Now the old Paras claim the New Paras, are stealing the Fish and therefore have a right to shoot the robbers, because the old Paras are the “Owners” now.

    One should have the right to shoot the robbers. Otherwise they will keep robbing, Indians or not.

    Why not shoot the Rajapaksa and Cronies as well for all the robbing and crimes they committed?


    • 17

      To me this man Ranil appears to be so stupid and not fit to be a prime minister: International law doesn’t allow shooting or killing fishermen straying into the territorial waters of another country.

      Besides that, he is stupid not to realize that his repeated utterances on this topic will alienate and India and many Tamils in Sri Lanka, when a parliamentary election is looming.

      Indi, Muslims and Tamils helped bring about the recent regime change: Now they need to get a change in the person for the PM!

      He might be pleasing the Sinhalese gallery by threatening to shoot Tamils, but lose the election in the bargain.

      • 2

        What would you, the learned judge of the North and all say about the “parippu drop”?!

        • 15

          your image is not in the pokuna- no more but may be in the mortuary if you wriggle- you must go in two’s but be in the pen. -kikkele
          don’t you look back- Gandhi ate salt and got shot om tat sat @ 0,0,0 point where babashaeb was accepted.
          NaMo does not waste time he is `fail to plan plan to fail faith ` other backward class` try asking him please.

      • 20

        thiru just count your blessings in the new chapter- don’t look back it’s all up front- whiskey whiskey soda no po da imbili kadde… dosa vaddai.

        that man can stick to his kotthu & all can enjoy his shop (sin halal or he will get spoilt and i like jammon jammon)this is rhino.

      • 8


        “To me this man Ranil appears to be so stupid and not fit to be a prime minister:”

        He is not stupid. He is smart. Sri Lankan Tamil Fisherman will applaud it. He is saying what has to be said, and bring the issue to the surface, the previous administration did not address.

        He is trying to protect the livelihoods of mostly Tamil Fisherman, who are Sri Lankan Tamils. Trying to do that is not stupidity. He is drawing a line in the water, Sri Lankan waters. By bottom drag fishing, the Indians have destroyed their fishing habitats. That is common knowledge.

        He is NOt making a distinction between Tamils. He his making a distinction between Sri lankans and Indians. As the sri lankan PM, it is his duty to protect the Livelihood of Sri Lankan Fishermen, whether Tamils, Muslims or Sinhala.

        After the Parippu drop, with IPKF, the Indians Killed Sri Lankans, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils, and some of those Indian soldiers were Tamil.

  • 5

    For God’s sake, lets not fight Ranil’s wars.[Edited out]

  • 8

    Hello writer!

    Shouldn’t there be an investigation to determine the trespassing fishermen had the intention to steal fish or to commit other criminal activities before the NAVY shoots them. There may be instances where accidentally fishermen could enter another country… in this case is the solution shooting them??

    Is RW suggesting that even Srilankan fishermen can be shot by Indian navy when they enter Indian waters by accident!

    We all agree that Indian fishermen should not steal our fish but the answer is not shooting them!

    There is a nice article on Sunday Times on this controversy!

  • 6

    Summa, you are right.Our fisherman could stray into,their waters.The solution is not shooting.
    Soon the fisherman could carry arms,
    ‘ that fellow should be shot’
    Have any of you heard this term before in Sri Lanka.I,guess,the British left this term behind for us.It was sort of a remark and no one took it seriously because it was not meant to be so.
    Unfortunately PM Ranil took it further and said ‘yes, if the Indian fisherman came into our territory they should be shot,
    PM please hold your tongue.these times are already bad for you before you stand for elections.Don’t flex your muscles in unwanted places creating trouble to all.Especially OUR fisherman.

  • 7

    The context in which something is said, needs to be valuated before jumping to conclusions. Taking things out of context is the easiest way to create a non existent controversy, and some pressmen are masters in the art.

    The Press thrives on controversy. Luckily, Ranil’s hair is very grey and therefore the gray matter is matured and wise. He is unlikely to do a Mervin Silva or a Weerabangsha, whatever the circumstances.

  • 2

    Good post. The scale of the problem suggest its quite organised and supported by Tamil politicians.

    Sri Lanka has to keep making allowances for Tamils here and there. Its quite a nuisance.

    • 19

      “”Sri Lanka has to keep making allowances for Tamils here and there. Its quite a nuisance. “”
      sihala speaking tam`ill` are as we see from the outside

      Buffalo Inbreads Gun Obviously Tattooed. – BIGOT

      Pinnata Sevura free education down under refugee brat,

      The Tamils no longer feel intimidated because the empire has stuck back.

      ..and blasphemy against religion (Buddhist) to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason.

  • 16

    Whatever it is. It is not appropriate to speak like this for a country’s prime minister ! He proved he is not second to former president Mahinda !!( said Ealam people not vote for him) And 1987 issue it is because of Srilankan government failure to solve the Tamil issue since independence . It still continues with out finding a durable solution.

  • 15

    He has been rejected by the masses so many times through the ballot box and all of you now know why. He is no leader and he is damn arrogant. If you are the Priminister of any country other than Zimbabwe you will be measured and diplomatic but not Ranil. He shoots from the hip. He will never be elected because he is no leader.

  • 1

    This taken out of context. The PM is responsible for the livelihood of the Jaffna fishermen. What happened to the so so called Tamil Diaspora protecting the rights of the fellow men? Whos is looking after your interest? IS it LTTE
    ,TNA Wanigaswaran Or Tamilnadu Who Override your fishing grounds.
    Plain Idiots who do not stand on the ground for your rights.

  • 1

    When the P.M. of SriLanka, made those statements, he was not simply giving vent to his own frustration over the fishermen issue, he was actually resonating the feelings of most of the SriLankans. Most of the Indian leaders do not want to admit the horrendous damage the Indian poachers are causing to the livelihood of the Sri Lankan fishermen and to the Sri Lankan marine resources. The Indian poachers are not small time fishermen, as implied by the Indian leaders. Small time fishermen cannot afford to own expensive bottom trawlers used by the poachers. Some of the Indian leaders like Karunanidhi say that this does not take place often and this should be treated as a humanitarian issue. No. Poaching is done on a daily basis using dozens of the bottom trawlers. It is a humanitarian issue for the poor Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen and not to the poachers who are well to do fish mudhalalis.Often the Indian leaders suggest that the fishermen on both sides must meet and come to a solution. This is like saying the robbers and the victims of the robbery must meet to stop the robbery! Trespassing the territorial or maritime boundary lines is illegal. If that is done routinely on a continuous basis, no sovereign country will tolerate this. If China or Pakistan trespass the Indian boundary lines on a continuous basis how will India react? Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe’s statement has to be viewed in this background.

    • 23

      “”Often the Indian leaders suggest that the fishermen on both sides must meet and come to a solution. This is like saying the robbers and the victims of the robbery must meet to stop the robbery! “”

      It’s known as others wisdom born of observing and less shooting from the rear.

      The Scottish and Spanish clash most recent was the biggest with heavy weights for conservation in practice and the other for the small fish- it reverberates of old Gulliver in the land of Lilliput’s. Problem solved only by `fisherman to fisherman` dialogue from both sides; they know best.- Just mind your smelly business as it smells too- Quite a Phew!!!

      What Ranil said has effect both ways and can be effected both ways. He knows the power of India so he has been there many a time and would he shoot from the hip- ‘May your genitals sprout wings and fly away’

      You can get it if you really want
      You can get it if you really want
      You can get it if you really want
      But you must try, try and try
      Try and try, you’ll succeed at last

      please don’t bend.


      • 1

        Someone who uses dishonourable language in public can only be compared to members of the previous regime. You’re a good example to demonstrate that Mervin de Silva sent a message to Sri Lankan society, especially to vulnerable people like you.

        • 9

          you are the product of drugs and terror and mervin belongs to your race of beggars and sex slaves.
          that makes you john of the harem.

  • 12

    To declare the right to shoot is diplomatically stupid and unproductive. If RW is serious about solving this issue, he should choose a different path. He should realize by now that such demonstrations of one upmanship with India have a habit of leaving Sri Lanka embarrassed, eg the parippu drop after the navy turned back the attempted Indian parippu landing. Also as someone commented above, wont such a response pave the way for their navy to take pot shots at our sea faring trespassers in their waters? Confrontation can only escalate and we are certainly not in the same league as David, with neither the same cunning nor the ammo. There is in my view no alternative to meaningful and informed dialogue to reach a solution that is acceptable.

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