Jayalalithaa writes to Manmohan Singh; details of letters released to media

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday blamed the Centre for not taking any concerted effort to secure the release of Tamil Nadu fishermen lodged in Sri Lankan jails.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, details of which were released to the media, she rued that despite her writing repeatedly highlighting incidents of attacks on the fishermen and their arrests “there appears to be no concerted effort by the Central government.”

Seeking to draw Dr. Singh’s attention to the plight of 34 fishermen belonging to Ramanathapuram district who were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy while fishing in the high seas and “suffering prolonged incarceration,” she said the entire fishermen community in the State remained agitated over the issue. She also pointed out that she had written twice about the five fishermen languishing in Sri Lankan jails for over 20 months “due to a fabricated case.”

Ms. Jayalalithaa said custody for them meant loss of daily livelihood and “a crushing impact on their families who are in agony over their prolonged absence and detention.”

The Chief Minister appealed to the Prime Minister to direct the Ministry of External Affairs to immediately take up the matter through the highest diplomatic channels to secure their release.

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