CHENNAI: The Assembly on Friday adopted a unanimous resolution urging the Centre to take steps to secure the release of 38 fishermen and 79 boats still under Sri Lankan custody.
The resolution also requested the Centre to retrieve Katchatheevu to get back the traditional fishing rights of the Tamil Nadu fishermen. Leaders of all parties in the Assembly -- DMDK, Congress, CPI, CPM, Puthiya Thamizhagam, RPI, AIFB and AISMK welcomed the resolution.
The resolution, moved by CM O Panneerselvam thanked former CM J Jayalalithaa for making efforts to secure the release of five fishermen, who were sentenced to death by a Lankan court. The resolution also conveyed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Central government for taking steps for their release.
Moving the resolution, the Chief Minister recalled the various steps taken by the State government and Jayalalithaa in taking care of the welfare of the families of the five fishermen during their period of imprisonment since November 2011.
While the Tamil Nadu government had urged the Centre to initiate diplomatic steps to release the five fishermen, all parties in the State had urged the Centre to ensure the release of the fishermen. Panneerselvam said though the five fishermen were released, 38 Tamil Nadu fishermen, who were arrested on charges of crossing the IMBL and 79 boats were still in Lankan custody. The resolution observed that ceding of Katchatheevu was the main reason for the frequent arrests of Tamil Nadu fishermen by SL Navy.