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Updated: November 27, 2011 03:08 IST

Coast Guard's ‘no fishing zone' suggestion outrageous: Jayalalithaa

Special Correspondent
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Terming the Coast Guard stand in the High Court on the fishermen issue as “outrageous”, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention to rectify it before any “irredeemable damage” is done. File photo
DIPR Terming the Coast Guard stand in the High Court on the fishermen issue as “outrageous”, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention to rectify it before any “irredeemable damage” is done. File photo

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday termed “illogical, preposterous and absolutely outrageous,” the Indian Coast Guard's suggestion that Tamil Nadu proclaim a ‘no fishing zone' within five nautical miles of the Indo-Sri Lankan International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and impose strict punitive measures on defaulters.

Expressing “total disagreement”, Ms. Jayalalithaa, in a letter, urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to instruct the authorities concerned to rectify the stand before the court at the earliest before irredeemable damage is done.

The Opposition DMK also said that the suggestion would severely affect the livelihood of Tamil fishermen. DMK Parliamentary Party leader T.R. Baalu said that his party MPs would meet the Prime Minister on November 28 to take up the issue with him.

“We will also raise the issue in Parliament.” The Coast Guard made the suggestion before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court in response to a public interest litigation seeking direction to the force to give protection to Indian (Tamil Nadu) fishermen in the Palk Straits. It contended that Tamil Nadu fishermen crossed the IMBL for fishing in Sri Lankan waters and used nets banned in that country.

Ms. Jayalalithaa recalled the memorandum she handed over to the Prime Minister on June 14. “I understand that the issue of allowing fishing in each others' waters on a mutually agreed basis is being discussed by the Joint Working Group involving Indian and Sri Lankan authorities. That being the case, it is really surprising that the Indian Coast Guard has taken such a blatantly condemnable stand.”

If the stand were implemented, it would mean that the Tamil Nadu fishermen have to stop fishing and starve, “which I am sure, is not the intention of the Government of India”.

PMK leader S. Ramadoss said that the Coast Guard stand would deprive Tamil Nadu fishermen of their livelihood.

Kudos to Mr.Balu on his forthright views on Tamil fishermen's arrogance. Its time Central government brings in a blanket order of drawing a line on fishing zone. Just for sake of Tamil's slogan, India cant afford to be a laughing stock in front of others.

from:  Syed Kabeer Ahmed
Posted on: Nov 29, 2011 at 05:24 IST

I think the Indian Government must first restrain their fishermen from venturing into Lankan seas. The attitude of the fishermen and the so called Tamil-crusaders in TN is arrogant. You cant expect the Sri lankan navy to watch with hands crossed when Indian fishermen venture and fish in its waters with nets that are banned by Lankan Govt. Of course, Jaya or Karunanidhi dont have the guts to control the fishermen as it would impact their vote banks. Not every CM has the guts like their Gujarati counterparts. Gujarat enforces ban of fishing close to Pakistani seas to avoid such skirmishes.

from:  Balu
Posted on: Nov 27, 2011 at 11:52 IST

Ms. Jayalalithaa is right. The Coast Guard has made some submissions before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court that will justify the action of the Sri Lankan Navy against the Tamilnadu fishermen. This is a sensitive issue between India and Sri Lanka that deserves top priority attention between the two countries. The government of Tamilnadu has a limited role to play in resolving the issue amicably. Even after almost six months since the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu has brought to the notice of the PM this vexatious issue, nothing concrete seems to have been done by the GOI in the matter. The people of Tamilnadu in general and the aggrieved fishermen in particular have a right to know the outcome or the present status of the discussions between the Joint Working Groups of Indian and Sri Lankan authorities. The Coast Guard would not have filed the disputed submissions without clearance from the Union Government. GOI must now act decisively and transparently.

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Nov 27, 2011 at 10:05 IST

While appreciating TN CM Jayalalitha's endeavour to stand by native fishermen, her comments on Coast Guard are unjustified. By now, she must be aware that central officers (except some civil servants) are well disciplined unlike state govt. babudom. Just think of manning airports with local police earlier vis a vis CISF committed team.The CS should assist coast guard the with best draft proposals in defending the case for a positive conclusion.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Nov 27, 2011 at 06:25 IST

Both Jaya and Karuna are not aware of the Maritime rules and limitations using the territorial waters of India. Just for the name of retaining her vote bank Jaya has uttered a statement which questions the Indian Navy and its security. Before issuing any such statements in future, Jaya should realise that fishermen from Tamil Nadu did violate the IMBL due to which Coast Guard has to act accordingly.How long the Tamil card will play into every issue, thereby questioning the intergrity of India. Tamils and Tamil Nadu are part of India just like any other state in India. Dont forget that.

from:  Syed Kabeer Ahmed
Posted on: Nov 27, 2011 at 04:54 IST
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