Tamil Nadu

Fishermen leaders to meet Foreign Secretary on March 21

A delegation of fishermen leaders will meet Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar in New Delhi on March 21 to discuss the fallout of the killing of Rameswaram fisherman K. Britjo allegedly in the firing by Sri Lankan Navy on the night of March 6 when he was fishing on the high seas.

Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan, who had persuaded the fishermen to suspend their seven-day-long protest along with his ministerial colleague Nirmala Seetharaman, secured the appointment with Mr. Jaishankar.

Mr. Radhakrishnan and Collector S. Natarajan informed the fishermen of the appointment, fishermen leaders U. Arulanandham and P. Sesu Raja said. The delegation would be finalised after consulting fishermen leaders in Pudukottai, Nagapattinam and Karaikal, they said.

The delegation would explain the plight of the fishermen fishing in the Palk Bay, and impress upon the Foreign Secretary to ensure that there was no such firing in the future. They would also urge him to ensure that those responsible for the killing of Britjo were brought to book, they said.

As the continued detention of more than 130 boats in the island nation had put the fishermen in a state of despondency, they would urge Mr. Jaishankar to secure the release of the boats at the earliest.

India should secure an assurance from Sri Lankan government that it would not arrest the fishermen when they ventured into ‘their traditional waters’ in the Palk Bay till a lasting solution was found to the problem, Mr. Sesu Raja said.

Mr. Arulanandham said the delegation would present a list of 187 fishermen killed in the firing by Lankan navy since December 13, 1984 and 363 injured in the firing and the attacks by the Lankan navy since July 13, 2013, and seek compensation to the affected families.

The fishermen who had been protesting against the killing of Britjo since March 7 suspended their agitation on Monday after the Union Ministers assured them that they would secure an appointment with Mr. Jaishankar to enable the leaders to present their case before him.

Local BJP leaders D. Kuppuramu, Suba. Nagarajan and K. Muraleedharan would accompany the delegation.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 10:07:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/fishermen-leaders-to-meet-foreign-secretary-on-march-21/article17467289.ece

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