CHENNAI: Expressing concern over yet another incident of arrest of four Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy on March 10, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday sought the personal intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in securing the release of 68 fishermen and 78 fishing boats from the Lankan custody now.
“The right historically enjoyed by our fishermen in Tamil Nadu to fish in the traditional waters of the Palk Bay, is now being repeatedly infringed upon by the Lankan Navy. I reiterate the Tamil Nadu government’s stand that the Centre should not treat the International Maritime Boundary Line with Sri Lanka as a settled question. The rights over Katchatheevu should also be restored.”
She also reiterated that the fishing boats and gear, which were not released by the Sri Lankan government while releasing our fishermen, had been subjected to severe damage due to
long periods of disuse. “The poor fishermen would be subjected to a huge permanent loss with the damage of their only means of livelihood. I request that the fishing boats and gear of our fishermen impounded in Lanka be restored to them in a refurbished condition at the earliest,” she added.