The National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) has urged the Prime Minister to take diplomatic measures and resolve the issue of Indian fishermen being victimised by Sri Lankan Navy.
In a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, general secretary of the forum M Ilango stated that diplomatic measures are the need of the hour to prevent barbaric activities of Sri Lankan Navy such as indiscriminate firing, attack with weapons, snapping of nets, damaging fishing boats and seizing the fishing vessels.
To solve our problem, NFF would suggest a better and permanent solution to this issue through a dialogue between the fishermen leaders of the two countries across the table in the presence of diplomats, he added.
Stating that in the recent past, Sri Lankan Navy had arrested 119 fishermen belonging to Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal region of the Union Territory of Puducherry, he regretted that no action has been taken so far by our external affairs ministry.
“If these atrocities of arresting and imprisoning of fishermen and mere spectator behaviour of the Government of India continued further, it would certainly create hatred towards the Centre,” he said.
The Prime Minister should, therefore, intervene and solve the agony of the imprisoned fishermen by getting them released from Sri Lankan prison, Ilango said.
The compulsion from the Centre to enact laws to take action against the Indian fishermen by the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry governments is shocking, he said and added that without taking into account the atrocities inflicted by Sri Lankan Navy, trying to punish the Indian fishermen would further aggravate the hatred towards the Centre.