Hours after 13 fishermen on board two boats from Tamil Nadu were arrested by the Sri Lankan authorities in the Palk Bay on Thursday; Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami expressed concerns and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to secure the release of all 84 fishermen and all 159 boats presently in Sri Lankan custody.
In his letter to the Prime Minister, a copy of which was circulated to the media here, Mr. Palaniswami cited eight recent incidents in which fishermen from Nagapattinam, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts were arrested by the Sri Lankan authorities while they were fishing in the Palk Bay.
“The government of Tamil Nadu is extremely concerned about these frequent apprehensions, prolonged incarceration of our fishermen, detention of their fishing boats for long duration leading to its deterioration,” Mr. Palaniswami said.
While the fishermen arrested since November last year were still in Sri Lankan jails and their families back home were in abject poverty, the seized boats were deteriorating due to prolonged exposure to the inclement weather and lack of maintenance, he stated. This led to unrest among the fishermen in the State, said the Chief Minister.
Mr. Palaniswami urged the Prime Minister to personally intervene in the matter and take up the issue with the highest authorities in the Sri Lankan government and secure the immediate release of 84 fishermen and 159 fishing boats. (Courtesy The Hindu)