Fishermen of Veerampattinam take out boats in support of Sri Lankan Tamils; demand that the Indian government protect its fishermen

There are several protests taking place across the town, but one protest stood out on Wednesday morning. The cause may be the same — to urge India to support the US-sponsored declaration at the UNHRC — but the fishermen of Veerampattinam decided to express their protest a little differently. “We wanted to do what we know how to do, and that is to take our boats out to sea. So a group of us decided to take our protest to the waters,” the leader of the protest, Shaktivel, told The-Hindu.

Crowds gathered to watch as around 60 boats filled with people were on display off the Puducherry beach. On the boats, the fishermen burnt effigies and shouted slogans.

The protest elicited good response from the public as most people have not seen such a protest. The fishermen not only demanded that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa be declared a war criminal, but also that the Indian government take a stand to protect its fishermen, Shaktivel said.