Tamil Nadu CM seeks release of fishermen arrested by Navy

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 00:24 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa yesterday called on the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to personally intervene to secure the immediate release of 31 Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy.

The Sri Lankan Navy on Saturday apprehended 26 fishermen from Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu along with their three boats when they were poaching in Sri Lankan waters in the seas North of Point Pedro. Arrested fishermen and their trawlers have been taken to Kankasanthurai.

Earlier the Navy arrested five Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu on 4 June when they were fishing near Katchatheevu. The five fishermen have been handed over to authorities in Thalaimannar.

“The recurring instances of apprehension of our fishermen while they are engaged in their peaceful avocation of fishing in their traditional fishing waters in the high seas in the Palk Bay, by the Sri Lankan Navy and their prolonged detention is causing great unrest amongst the fishermen community across the State,” the Chief Minister wrote in her letter to the PM.

She further noted that the Sri Lankan strategy of not releasing the boats of the fishermen is causing great long term economic loss to the poor fishermen.

The CM says the arrests “vitiate the congenial atmosphere” in which the Government of Tamil Nadu facilitated three rounds of bilateral fishermen level talks in Chennai on 27 January 2014, in Colombo on 12 May 2014, and again in Chennai on 24 March this year.

Reminding the PM that she has challenged the ceding of the islet of Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka by the “unconstitutional agreements of 1974 and 1976”, the CM asked the Prime Minister Modi to personally intervene and direct the Ministry of External Affairs to take up the matter with the Sri Lankan authorities at the highest level to secure the immediate release of 31 apprehended fishermen and their 23 fishing boats in Sri Lankan custody. (Colombopage)