Amicable decisions will be taken, says Chief Minister

The next round of talks between fishermen of Tamil Nadu and those of Sri Lanka will take place in Sri Lanka wherein “amicable decisions” will be taken, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told the Assembly on Monday.

Wrapping up the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor for his address last week, the Chief Minister, in her over two-hour reply, gave an account of decisions taken in the first round of talks here on January 27.

Action would be sought against those who use pair trawling and purse seine, both of which had been banned in many countries and several States of India.

As a mark of confidence-building measures, Tamil Nadu fishermen agreed not to use trawler boats and nets that had been banned by the governments of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka in the Sri Lankan territorial waters for one month from February 10. During the one-month period, it had been decided not to employ trawl nets in the coastal areas of Sri Lanka.

Agreement

The Chief Minister informed the House that an agreement reached at the talks last week would be without prejudice to proceedings before the Supreme Court [of India].

“It is a matter of concern that even after the talks, the Sri Lankan Navy arrests Indian fishermen.”

As a prelude to the first round of talks, 295 fishermen of Tamil Nadu were released and their belongings returned following the intervention of the Union government, which responded to the demand for release of Tamil Nadu fishermen and their boats.

On the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Ms. Jayalalithaa referred to reports that four countries had planned to bring in a resolution against Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in March and reiterated her position that India should propose a separate resolution, secure the support of other countries and get the resolution adopted.

After the Lok Sabha elections, her party – AIADMK – would be in a position to determine policies at the Centre.

Under such circumstances, steps would be taken to get a resolution adopted in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka, the Chief Minister added.