Jayalalithaa accuses Sri Lanka Navy of escalating frequency of arrests

Jaya_jpg_2867066fTamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the Sri Lankan Navy has “escalated the frequency and magnitude of incidents of abduction” of fishermen from the State and seizure of boats and fishing equipment undeterred in recent days, The Hindu newspaper reported.

Referring to the arrest of four fishermen from Ramanathapuram on July 15, Jayalalithaa said the “unabated spree of apprehensions” of fishermen had “constrained” her to write to Mr. Modi yet again to bring the incident to his notice. The Sri Lankan strategy of not releasing the boats of our fishermen was causing “great frustration” among fishermen in the State, she said, adding, “Without their livelihood base, these fishermen are in a state of despondency.”

Urging the Prime Minister to take up the matter with the highest authorities in the Sri Lankan government through the Indian High Commission, Jayalalithaa requested him to direct the Ministry of External Affairs to initiate efforts to bring an immediate halt to the apprehensions on high seas and secure the release of all 77 fishermen and their 102 fishing boats in Sri Lankan custody.

The Chief Minister referred to the case in the Supreme Court relating to her government stand on Katchatheevu and over the International Maritime Boundary Line with the island and said the matter was sub judice. (Colombo Gazette)