Jaya asks PM to sort out fishermen issue

Jaya asks PM to sort out fishermen issue

Demanding that the UPA government at the Centre take a strong line and prevail upon the Sri Lankan Government to end “unprovoked” attacks on and arrests of Indian fishermen, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha said that such “unabated” attacks “will not make for a congenial atmosphere” for the proposed talks between the representatives of fishing communities of the two sides next month.

Expressing anguish over the arrest of fishermen from Tamil Nadu again over the last three days by Sri Lankan naval personnel, Jayalalitha, in a letter, has yet again exhorted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene directly and use diplomacy to force the Lankan government to end the menace of arrests and intimidation.

"May I once again urge your personal intervention and exhort you to use the diplomatic channels of the Government of India in a concrete and decisive manner with the Sri Lankan authorities to secure the immediate release of 256 Indian fishermen, who are languishing in Lankan Jails for prolonged periods, including the 40 fishermen apprehended on December 28 and December 29, and their 81 fishing boats from Lankan custody at the earliest", she said.

Jayalalitha pointed out that in view of the sentiments and desire of the Fishermen Associations of Tamil Nadu to have talks to thrash out the issue, in the interest of keeping a channel of communication open between the fishermen communities of both countries.

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