Jaya writes to PM on fishermen's issue again

Jaya writes to PM on fishermen's issue again

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha on Sunday urged the Centre to take steps to prevail upon the Sri Lankan government to rein in the island nation’s Navy and order it to desist from frequent attacks on Indian fishermen.

She also called for action to secure the release of captured fishermen. Otherwise, there will be no scope for peaceful existence and assured livelihood for the community.

“I, therefore, exhort you to take immediate action to secure the release of all the fishermen from Tamil Nadu who are now in Sri Lankan custody, and arrange for their immediate repatriation along with their boats,” she wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Stating that the entire fishermen community in Tamil Nadu is agitated over this issue, she said, “In such a situation, I am constrained to observe that the stance of the Government of India on this extremely sensitive and delicate question appears to be totally insensitive not only to the sentiments of hundreds of thousands of fishermen in Tamil Nadu but also to their lives and livelihood.”

Jayalalitha alleged that the Centre has virtually abandoned its poor and defenceless fishermen to face an uncertain future due to the risk of daily attacks and abduction at the hands of the Sri Lankan Navy.

“Unless the Government of India displays greater fortitude and firmness and acts with alacrity through diplomatic channels to put pressure on Sri Lanka, there appears to be little chance of securing the prompt release of our fishermen or to avert such instances in future,” she wrote. “I also wonder if the Sri Lankan government is at all serious in engaging with the Government of India to peacefully resolve this question.”