Tamil Nadu

Edappadi urges Modi to defend T.N.’s fishing rights

Edappadi K. Palaniswami  

Strongly opposing Sri Lanka’s recent legislation on fishing restrictions, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asserted the fishing rights of the State in the Palk Bay, and urged Mr. Modi to take steps to exempt the Palk Bay from the legislation’s purview.

Recalling the efforts made by both sides to resolve the fishermen issue, the Chief Minister described the legislation as a “harsh step to undermine the diplomatic efforts” undertaken by India to sort out the sensitive issue. “It would be fitting for the Government of India to register its strongest disapproval of such a move, and [it] must organise an effective defence of the rights of our fishermen in the Palk Bay,” he said.

Mr. Palaniswami reiterated that the Palk Bay was a historic and traditional fishing area of T.N. fishermen.

Mr. Palaniswami said the new Sri Lankan legislation was “aimed at preventing our fishermen from exercising their traditional fishing rights in the fishing waters”, adding that it would deny them their fundamental rights conferred by the Indian Constitution.

Effective response

Mr. Palaniswami urged the Prime Minister to direct the Union Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Mission in Sri Lanka to effectively respond to Sri Lanka’s legislation by registering a strong protest, and to further ensure that necessary provisions are made in the new legislation to exempt the Palk Bay from its purview.

The new Bill, passed by Sri Lanka’s Parliament, was a “retrograde step” and would hamper the joint initiatives taken by both the Indian and the Sri Lankan government on the fishermen issue, and was a “severe setback” to the diplomatic efforts being made to resolve the issue amicably, the Chief Minister contended.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 3:22:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/edappadi-urges-modi-to-defend-tns-fishing-rights/article19235662.ece

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