TN fishermen launch indefinite strike

Not convinced with the recent release of more than 80 Indian fishermen by the Lankan Navy, Tamil Nadu fishermen in the coastal areas of Rameshwaram, Karaikal and Nagapattinam have launched an indefinite strike demanding Colombo to return all their confiscated boats and fishing nets immediately.

 Tamil Nadu fishermen association, which has more than 5,000 members, said that fishermen will not venture into sea unless the Sri Lankan authorities return their seized boats. “There is no point only releasing the fishermen, who were apprehended by the Lankan Navy.  Life will come to normal only if they release our boats and nets, grabbed during their raid”, association member K Babu said. 

He said all the members would also launch a series of rallies and demonstrations covering their faces with black cloth,   to get a permanent solution to their issue. 

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, contended the repetition of aggressive acts from the Sri Lankan side, immediately after the change in the government at the Centre and the consequent reset in the relations with Sri Lanka, does not seem to augur well for the peaceful pursuit of fishing in the Palk Bay by fishermen from Tamil Nadu. 

Observing that retrieval of Katchatheevu and talks between fishermen of the two sides could also help to resolve day to day issues, she said “Even on this limited issue, the Sri Lankan side had adopted obdurate and obstructive attitudes which led to the failure of the last round of talks held in Colombo in May 2014”. 

Meanwhile, the Indian Coast Guard on Wednesday took 36 Indian fishermen from Sri Lankan Naval Ship. 

In a statement, it said that the repatriated crew was brought to the Mandapam coastal area in the state and handed over to the local fisheries authorities. 

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