Centre urged to send out a strong message to Sri Lanka

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam treasurer M.K.Stalin on Tuesday urged the Centre to send out a strong message to Sri Lanka to put an end to the atrocities perpetrated against Tamil Nadu fishermen .

Leading a demonstration to highlight the plight of the fisherfolk of the State, organised by the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) here, he said continuance of inhuman attacks on fishermen, who ventured into sea, by Sri Lankan forces has been a matter of grave concern. Making a fervent plea to the Centre to effectively intervene in the issue, he recalled that an understanding was reached between the then External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna and his Sri Lankan counterpart that Indian fishermen would not be harassed even if they crossed the International Maritime Boundary inadvertently.

It was also agreed then that in the event of any violation they would be cautioned and sent back. The Sri Lankan forces would not fire at them and harm them.

The understanding was reached against the backdrop of DMK and other parties making repeated requests to the Centre to protect Tamil Nadu fishermen, he said.

The Centre was duty-bound to safeguard the fishermen of Tamil Nadu from such frequent attacks on the high seas, as they were Indian citizens, he said.

The DMK Chief, M.Karunanidhi, had been working out strategies under the banner of TESO for a lasting solution to the Tamils issue. Publicising TESO resolutions had helped create awareness on the issue among the international community.

It has been proposed to hold a TESO conference at New Delhi next month, in which the leaders of various political parties and representatives of Amnesty International are expected to participate. Referring to the pictures of Prabakaran’s son in custody that appeared in The Hindu today, Mr.Stalin said that pictures had shocked the conscience of the Tamil community.

T. R. Baalu and Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan, DMK leaders and former Union Ministers, K.Veeramani, leader of the Dravidar Kazhagam, Thol Thirumavalavan, MP and leader of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Suba Veerapandian, and A. K. S. Vijayan, MP, participated.