Minister for Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanasamy on Saturday criticised Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for the festering hostilities between fishermen of India and Sri Lanka. Speaking on the sidelines of visiting the families of 29 fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy last week, Mr. Narayanasamy said the Centre could only use diplomacy to secure their release. However, fishermen of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry had been demanding fishing rights in the territorial waters of Sri Lanka.

According to Mr. Narayanasamy, this was possible only through talks with the Sri Lankan fishermen.

The possibility of seasonal fishing could be considered only through talks with the Sri Lankan fishermen, as they staunchly opposed Indian fishermen entering their waters, Mr. Narayanasamy said.

Mr. Narayanasamy said the Centre had written to the State government asking for an enabling environment for talks between the fishermen of the two countries. However, the State had not acted on this. He urged the fishermen of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to jointly meet Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and ask her to create an environment for such talks. On the Centre’s intervention for the release of the arrested fishermen from here, Mr. Narayanasamy said he was in touch with Senthil Thondaman, Ulva Provincial Council Member.

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