A day after the arrest of five fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami urged the Indian Prime Minister to take up the issue personally with the highest authorities in Sri Lanka and to bring the apprehensions at high seas to an immediate halt, Deccan Herald reported.
The Chief Minister also asked Modi to direct the Ministry of External Affairs to secure the immediate release of 16 fishermen and 136 fishing boats including the five fishermen and their one mechanised fishing boat apprehended on June 18 without any delay.
“It has been reported that 5 fishermen from Tamil Nadu who set out in a mechanised fishing boat for fishing on June 17 from Mandapam fishing base of Ramanathapuram District after a 61 day long fishing ban, were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy, while fishing in their traditional waters in the Palk Bay, in the early hours of June 18 and taken to Karainagar, Sri Lanka”, he pointed out.
Stating that the repeated arrest and prolonged incarceration of our fishermen create unrest among the fishermen community of Tamil Nadu, Palaniswami requested the Centre to undertake a strong diplomatic stand so as to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
“My Government reaffirms its commitment to finding a pragmatic working solution and had initiated several measures with the support of Government of India”, he said adding “this necessitates an urgent intervention at the highest level of Sri Lankan administration to avert these arrests of our fishermen and to release and return the fishing boats and equipment of our fishermen in a refurbished condition so as to win the confidence of our fishing community”. (Colombo Gazette)