Jayalalithaa writes yet another letter to Manmohan Singh on fishermen issue

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday shot off another letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, pointing that the Centre’s apathy had led to fishing community nursing a strong grievance against Union government.

Their grievance was that the Centre had forsaken them in a time of crisis and was apathetic to their interests, she said.

Noting that she had written to him many times on the travails of the fishermen, including abduction, assault and apprehension at the hands of Sri Lankan Navy, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the continuous attacks and abductions were acts of an “unfriendly nation and should be countered effectively by coercive diplomacy.”

The Chief Minister urged Dr. Singh to take immediate steps to initiate a diplomatic dialogue with Sri Lanka to stop the incidents of arrest and harassment of the fishermen in the Palk bay, which is their traditional fishing area from time immemorial.

“A strong message should be delivered through diplomatic channels that India will not tolerate these attacks. Our diplomats in Colombo should take up the matter with the Government of Sri Lanka… to secure release of the 90 fishermen now in Sri Lankan jails,” she said, adding 20 of them from Rameswaram were apprehended on August 3.

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