"Though many people have been granted death sentence, the punishment has not been implemented in our island since 1976. So, when the fishermen's families met me yesterday, I told them that they would not lose their life in all probability,”  Wigneswaran, also former Judge of Sri Lankan Supreme Court said.

Since the case is in the appeal court, it is sub judice for us to comment on the issue," he added.

On October 30, the Colombo High Court sentenced to death the five fishermen on charges of allegedly smuggling heroin into Sri Lanka.
     
To a query on the long-standing fishermen issue between the two countries, the visiting Chief Minister said "Deep water fishing does not come under our province's jurisdiction. It is the Lankan central government that deals with it. At the same time, we are concerned about the issue and would suggest that if deep sea fishing is confined to Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea and not in the stretch between the nations it would help."
    
Asked whether the Indian fishing activity in the area affected the livelihood of the Lankan fishermen living in the Northern Province, he said, "The problem started only after the advent of trawler fishing which is known for wiping off the marine resources from the seabed. And most of these trawlers are being backed by politicians on both sides. So, if deep sea fishing is avoided in the stretch between two nations, the issue could be solved."

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