Taking the initiative to expedite a solution to the sporadic arrest and detention of Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan forces, K S Alagiri, Congress MP from Cuddalore, has made a proposal to Sri Lanka that claimed to be of mutual benefit for the fishermen of either shore. He asserted that if India was interested in pursuing the proposal, the Lankan government confirmed its support over the demarche.
Talking to reporters here on Monday, after his return from a three-day visit to Sri Lanka, Alagiri stated that his proposal of fishing sans frontiers will put an end to the tussle between the fishermen of both countries.
“Fishermen from Tamil Nadu can fish in the nautical territory of Sri Lanka for 15 days continuously and vice-versa. When I proposed this as a solution to stop detention of Indian fishermen who intrude in the nautical territories of SL, its Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa affirmed that his government would back the move if India too pursues the proposal,” Alagiri said.
Participating in the unveiling of the statue of Sovumiamoorthy Thondaman, founder of Ceylon Workers Congress, during centenary celebrations held in the Sri Lankan Parliament, Alagiri and his aide Kandaswamy, former minister of Puducherry, were able to have a conversation with Basil for around 45-minutes. “We participated in that function because we were personally invited,” said Alagiri. During the trip the duo visited TN fishermen detained in the prisons of Trincomalee.
Knowing that fishermen in Jaffna use boats of five horsepower but TN fishermen use big trawlers Alagiri said, “SL sees this issue not as a problem between Lanka and India but rather a problem between TN and Jaffna fishermen. In the next few weeks we will discuss the proposal with TN fishermen. SL assured us that it will facilitate a meeting of TN and Jaffna fishermen.”
He said that the report of his visit and the proposal will be given to the TN Chief Minister and the Prime Minister.