Ms. Jayalalithaa says arrests have sent shock waves through fishermen community
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has said “repeated actions” on the part of the Sri Lankan Navy in arresting Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu undermine their confidence and goodwill, which was sought to be built through direct talks between fishermen of the State and Sri Lanka.
In her letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday in the context of the latest arrest of 19 fishermen from Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram districts along with their 5 mechanised fishing boats by the Sri Lankan Navy on the night of Saturday, Ms. Jayalalithaa said this had sent “shock waves throughout the entire fishermen community” in Tamil Nadu.
The community was looking forward to a pragmatic and workable solution emerging for their day-to-day fishing activities in Palk Bay after direct talks with their counterparts in Sri Lanka.
The incident would result in greater frustration among members of the fishermen community in Tamil Nadu over the attitude of the Sri Lankan government, but also about the inability of the Indian government to effectively protect their interests.
Reminding the Prime Minister that 38 fishermen, apprehended last week and remanded in custody in Sri Lankan jails with their six boats, were yet to be released, the Chief Minister sought Dr. Singh’s intervention in using the diplomatic channels of the Union government to secure the immediate release of 57 fishermen languishing in the Sri Lankan jails and their 11 boats at the earliest.