Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has urged the Prime Minister to lodge a strong protest over the arrest of Indian fishermen and take action to secure release of 87 fishermen apprehended in the last one week.
“At this juncture a strong response is required from the Government of India on the issue. There has to be an immediate, firm, diplomatic initiative including intervention at the highest level. The Sri Lankan High Commissioner in New Delhi must be summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs and our strongest protest has to be lodged,” she said in a letter dated February 4 to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The Chief Minister further said that she was anguished by the continuing apprehensions of fishermen which ran contrary to the spirit of goodwill generated in the January 27 talks aimed at finding a solution for the day-to-day fishing activities apart from preventing further attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen.
She has dashed off three letters to the Prime Minister within the past six days over the issue. She wrote the first letter after the talks on January 30. The second one on February 3 and the third one on February 4.
The latest arrest of 30 fishermen and their eight boats from Rameswaram and Arcottuthurai were made on February 4 and they were remanded till February 13. “These continued detentions cast a shadow of doubt on the true intentions of the Sri Lankan authorities, including the Sri Lankan Navy,” she added.