‘Colombo stonewalling fishermen issue’

September 12, 2014 12:00 am | Updated November 16, 2021 05:49 pm IST - CHENNAI:

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the Indo-Sri Lankan Joint Working Groups are made a useful mechanism to address the issues concerning the fishermen and said the “stonewalling attitude” by the Sri Lankan delegation at the recent meeting of the Indo-Sri Lankan Joint Committee on Fisheries at New Delhi had to cease.

In her letter to the Prime Minister, Ms Jayalalithaa said, “Early action on the permanent solution for the Katchatheevu problem and long term diversification measures must be initiated.”

Recalling the submission of her memorandum to the Prime Minister in June, she reiterated that the retrieval of Katchatheevu from Sri Lanka and her request for a comprehensive special package of Rs. 1,520 crore as part of enabling the fishermen to diversify their activities had to be addressed.

Bringing to Mr Modi’s notice the latest round of three incidents of detention of 57 fishermen along with eight boats on Wednesday and Thursday, the Chief Minister expressed the hope that “given the emphasis you are placing on resolving issues in the neighbourhood of the country, the plight of Tamil Nadu fishermen will receive the much needed priority attention that it deserves and the Government of India will take necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of our fishermen and secure the immediate release of the detained 78 fishermen and 72 boats.” She added that the permanent and long-term measures cannot be placed on the back-burner any longer and must also be actively pursued.

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