Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has reiterated her demand to the Prime Minister for immediate diplomatic measures to put an end to repeated Sri Lankan attacks on fishermen from Tamil Nadu.
In a strongly-worded letter to Manmohan Singh, written in the backdrop of two brutal attacks on fishermen from Tamil Nadu in as many days, Jayalalithaa reminded the PM that Tamil Nadu’s fishermen were Indian citizens too.
The Chief Minister’s missive highlighted two recent attacks - one targeting eight fishermen from Pudukottai district on Tuesday and another involving six fishermen from Nagapattinam during the wee hours of Wednesday. The fishermen had been attacked with iron pipes and swords by Sri Lankan Navy personnel, said Jayalalithaa.
“The continuing murderous attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy have to be condemned in the strongest terms. Despite repeated protests by the Tamil Nadu government, it is disappointing that no deterrent diplomatic initiatives have been taken by the government of India. This has resulted in even more outrageous, unprovoked and lethal attacks by the Sri Lankan Navy on Tamil fishermen,” Jayalalithaa said in her letter.
“The latest incident involves their use of swords and iron rods to attack our fishermen, an act that is medieval in its barbarism. India cannot maintain a pusillanimous equanimity in face of such repeated brazen and uncivilised assaults on innocent TN fishermen, who are also citizens of India,” it read.
Jayalalithaa said she was pained over the fact that there were four serious and ‘unwarranted’ attacks in the past month. Calling the state of affairs ‘worrisome’, she recalled that 19 fishermen from Rameswaram continued to languish in Sri Lankan custody for past one week.
“I once again request you to take pro-active steps to stop these unabated brutal attacks as well as arrests of our innocent Tamil Nadu fishermen,” Jayalalithaa’s letter concluded.