“Decisions taken at diplomatic meetings not honoured by Sri Lankan Navy”

Reacting to the latest incident of attack and harassment of fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday charged the force with honouring more in the breach the statements issued at diplomatic meetings of the two countries against the use of force on fishermen.

Describing the incident as yet another instance of the highhandedness of Sri Lankan Naval personnel, the Chief Minister, in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, stated that “the Sri Lankan Navy, emboldened by the soft handling of the issue by the Government of India, is attacking/harassing the fishermen of Tamil Nadu with impunity.”

The statements at diplomatic-level meetings of the two countries that “the use of force on fishermen cannot be justified by any means,” remain only on paper and were honoured more in the breach by the Sri Lankan Navy, which seemed to be making a mockery of the entire diplomatic process.

Elaborate account

Giving an elaborate account of the recent incident, she mentioned that the incidents of harassment of fishermen continued unabated.

She recalled her letter dated July 23 to Dr. Singh in which she had informed him that unless the Centre intervened, there was every possibility of recurrence of such incidents. “This incident reinforces our apprehension.”

The Chief Minister requested the Prime Minister to take up this issue strongly with the Sri Lankan Government and ensure that the Sri Lankan Navy refrained from harassing Indian fishermen fishing in their traditional waters for subsistence.

Keywords: fishermen issue