Indonesia asked for clarification on sinking of Vietnamese fishing vessel

By Viet Anh   May 14, 2020 | 07:31 am PT
Indonesia asked for clarification on sinking of Vietnamese fishing vessel
A Vietnamese fishing vessel is sunk by an Indonesian vessel near Datuk Island in May, 2019. Photo by AFP.
Vietnam has asked Indonesia for clarification on the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel last month, causing four Vietnamese fisher-people to go missing.

The Foreign Ministry has sent a diplomatic note to the Indonesian Embassy in Hanoi requesting Indonesia to search for the missing fisher-people and treat those it has arrested humanely, ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at an online press meet Thursday.

Vietnam also requests that Indonesia investigates the matter carefully and deals strictly with organizations and individuals which are responsible for sinking the Vietnamese vessel.

An official Indonesian vessel chased down two Vietnamese fishing vessels with 14 fishermen on board in Indonesian waters on April 20, Hang said. A Vietnamese fishing vessel was sunk and four fisher-people have been missing since. The other vessel and crew were arrested.

Vietnam requests that Indonesia acts with care and restraint in dealing with matters regarding fishing vessels and fisher-people in a humanitarian spirit. Vietnam believes that authorities of both countries need to enhance cooperation to share information and resolve issues in a humanitarian spirit and in accordance with international law and practices as strategic partners and fellow ASEAN members, she said.

The Vietnamese Embassy in Indonesia visited the arrested Vietnamese fisher-people on May 5, and confirmed that they are mentally sound and in good health.

"Authorities of both countries have found the sunk vessel, but not the four fisher-people," she said.

Vietnam consistently supports sustainable fishing while paying attention to the conservation and utilization of seafood resources and benefits, protecting the environment and international cooperation. The nation also regularly informs and educates its fisher-people to respect Vietnamese regulations as well as international law and relevant international agreements, said Hang.

This is not the first time Indonesia has sunk fishing vessels from other countries. Last year, Indonesia sank dozens of impounded foreign boats, including those from Vietnam, Malaysia and China, to deter fisherpeople from other countries from fishing in its waters, AFP reported.

Vietnam has multiple times requested that Indonesia deals with such issues with a humanitarian spirit, giving consideration to bilateral relations and common rules.

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