Indian fishermen plan siege of bridge in protest against Sri Lanka

Fishermen’s associations from six coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have decided to lay siege to the Pamban bridge in Rameswaram on February 16.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of about 200 representatives of fishermen’s associations from Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Tiruvarur, Karaikal and Nagapattinam districts on Friday, The Hindu newspaper reported.

Their principal demand is that the Centre should prevail upon the Sri Lankan Govenment to withdraw the decision to increase the penalty imposed on foreign vessels found fishing in the island nation’s territorial waters.

In the absence of a clear demarcation of the maritime boundary, the Centre should either retrieve the Katchatheevu islet from Sri Lanka or ensure that the Sri Lankan government abides by the agreement reached at the time of its handover, said S. Balamurali, a representative of the Akkaraipettai Fishermen Welfare Society, who chaired the meeting. (Colombo Gazette)