Written by Staff Writer
31 Dec, 2013 | 12:45 pm
Expressing her anguish on ‘the unethical, illegal and inhuman’ arrest of fishermen from Tamil Nadu by Sri Lankan Navy, Chief Minister J Jayalalitha has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene in the issue and secure their release.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Jayalalitha charged the Sri Lankan Navy with carrying out ‘unabated, brutal, unprovoked attacks’ and instances of opening of fire on ‘innocent’ fishermen from the state despite several joint statements and declarations by both the Government of India and the Government of Sri Lanka against such actions.
Jayalalitha said the Centre’s ‘meek and weak’ response to the repeated instances of attacks on the fishermen in their traditional waters had emboldened the Sri Lankan Navy.
In her letter to Singh, a copy of which was released to the media on Tuesday, Jayalalitha said, “I once again urge your personal intervention and exhort you to use the diplomatic channels of the Government of India in a concrete and decisive manner with the Sri Lankan authorities to secure the immediate release of 256 Indian fishermen who are languishing in Sri Lankan jails.”
The Chief Minister also said the state government was awaiting a formal confirmation from the Union government on the proposed meeting between the fishermen communities of both India and Sri Lanka.
“Even though the situation is tense in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu because of the continued imprisonment of our fishermen, fishermen’s associations have represented to the state government to facilitate the bilateral fishermen level talks and they have requested me to fix the venue and time for such a meeting,” she said in the letter.
Jayalalitha said the state government had already proposed that arrangements might be made to hold talks between fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka in Chennai on January 20. “The agenda and the list of participants for the meeting have already been sent to the Centre. It has been reported in the media that the Government of India is agreeable to the date. However, we are awaiting a formal confirmation,” she said.
– Times of India
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