“The action of Sri Lankan authorities has come as a rude shock to the fisherfolk of Tamil Nadu”

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s personal intervention in securing the release of 25 fishermen who were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy on Tuesday.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the action of the Sri Lankan authorities had come as a rude shock to the fisherfolk in the State.

Decisive steps

The Chief Minister said her government was taking assiduous and decisive steps to defuse the tense situation prevailing in the coastal districts and to create a conducive atmosphere for talks between fishermen of the two countries scheduled for January 27.

‘64 yet to be freed’

She said 64 fishermen belonging to the State, who were apprehended and remanded in Sri Lankan jails, were yet to be released by the Sri Lankan government. Sixty-nine fishing boats were being kept in the custody of the Sri Lankan authorities, and this adversely affected the livelihood of the fishermen who were the owners of these crafts.

“I exhort you to take concrete and decisive action to ensure immediate release of the 25 fishermen without their being remanded by Sri Lankan courts. Further, the 64 fishermen who are still in Sri Lankan custody, along with their 69 boats, should be released forthwith. Only such a decisive action could facilitate the smooth conduct of fishermen-level talks between the two countries,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said in the letter.

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