Expressing concern over the continuing arrests of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan navy despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘honouring’ Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa by inviting him for his swearing-in ceremony, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi on Monday asked the BJP government to take steps for a permanent solution to the issue.

“The Indian Prime Minister honoured Sri Lankan President by inviting him for his swearing-in ceremony. He (Mr. Rajapaksa) also announced releasing of arrested Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture. But the arrests have not stopped,” Mr. Karunanidhi said adding India had also released Sri Lankan fishermen from its jails.

He recalled that fishermen associations from Rameswaram, Mandapam and Pamban had decided to resort to indefinite strike protesting the Lankan Navy’s attacks.

“No solution has been found despite long discussions held twice by fishermen representatives of both countries (on fishing rights on Palk Strait). Contrary to expectations that arrest of the fishermen would end after BJP government was formed, it keeps continuing,” he said.

“Therefore, I urge the Modi-led Central government to immediately come forward to find out a permanent solution for this issue,” he said in a statement in Chennai.

He was responding to the arrest of 73 Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy on June 7.

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