CHENNAI: Bringing to the notice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi yet another arrest of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Lankan Navy, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday sought his personal intervention in securing the immediate release of our 64 fishermen and 77 fishing boats still in Lankan custody. This includes the 29 fishermen and their four fishing boats apprehended on March 6.
“There is an urgent and imperative need to ensure that our fishermen are not arrested and abducted on the high seas. Proactive action needs to be initiated at the highest level to ensure a permanent solution to this sensitive issue that plagues the livelihoods of thousands of Tamil Nadu fishermen,” the Chief Minister said in her letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
She also pointed out that the right to life and livelihood of the fishermen of the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, who carry on fishing in the traditional waters of the Palk Bay, was being continuously infringed upon by the Lankan Navy.
The Chief Minister said a permanent solution to this vexatious problem facing Tamil Nadu fishermen would be possible only by restoring India’s sovereignty over Katchatheevu thereby securing their right to fish in their traditional waters.
Stating that the prolonged detention and disuse of fishing boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen and severe monsoon had caused an irrevocable damage to them in Lanka, Jayalalithaa said the fishing boats and gear should be restored in a refurbished condition by the Centre at the earliest.