Condemning the recent arrests of 34 Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan army, India’s PMK leader S Ramadoss has requested Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa to return to Chennai from Kodanad and hold an all-party meeting to discuss the issue.
Jayalalithaa has been staying in Kodanad estate in the Nilgiris for the last few weeks. The fishermen, who set sail from Rameswaram and Nagapattinam fishing bases, were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy for crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the early hours of Tuesday. At least seven mechanized boats have also been seized.
“The fishermen were attacked and their boats have been damaged,” Ramadoss said in a statement.
The incident comes in the backdrop of Rameswaram fishermen giving up their protests after Sri Lanka announced its plan to release 86 Indian fishermen today and the Tamil Nadu government made known its gesture to release two Lankan fishermen as a goodwill gesture.
“Even before the arrested fishermen are released, the Sri Lankan government has held 34 more. It does not seem to strengthen the ties of both countries,” Ramadoss said.
He criticised the AIADMK high command for having deputed its MPs to meet external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday, even as the latter has called for a meeting with Tamil Nadu MPs on October 31 to discuss fishermen issue. (Colombo Gazette)