Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP Tiruchi Siva urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to send a strong message to the Sri Lankan government on the death of four fishermen from Tamil Nadu whose bodies were found on January 23.
Raising the issue in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Mr. Siva said that this is not the first ever such incident. “We have been raising such issues in the House every now and then and fishermen in Tamil Nadu are compelled to quit their profession because of harassment by the Sri Lankan Navy,” he said.
On January 19, four fishermen from Tamil Nadu were reported missing. Four days later, on January 23, the Sri Lankan Navy claimed to have found their bodies in the Palk Strait. The Sri Lankan Navy claimed that the fishermen’s boat rammed into its vessel. Mr. Siva contended that this was not the case and, in fact, the fishermen had been brutally attacked and killed. He said that it was not enough for the External Affairs Ministry to send a strong demarche to the Sri Lankan High Commissioner. Mr. Siva said that the families of fishermen did not know whether they would return with their catch or if it was their bodies that would be sent home.
“The Prime Minister should condemn, as our leader has requested, this incident. This should not happen again. I hope you will take this issue very seriously and give hope and confidence to the fishermen that nothing would happen henceforth when they go fishing,” Mr. Siva added.
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader M. Thambidurai also spoke on the issue. He said that, so far, 245 fishermen from Tamil Nadu had been killed. “The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K. Palaniswami, has written a letter to the Prime Minister requesting him to take necessary action against the Sri Lankan authorities. Sir, on behalf of the AIADMK party, the Tamil Nadu government and also the Tamil Nadu fishermen, I condemn the Sri Lankan Navy for doing these kinds of atrocities and killing our fishermen. This is going to affect the relationship between India and Sri Lanka,” he said.