National Fishworkers’ Forum chairperson M Ilango has requested Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to release the five boats of Indian fishermen, which were impounded and announced as nationalised.
In a letter to the Lankan President, Ilango said, “In the last months, several boats belonging to Indian fishermen were seized by Sri Lankan Navy accusing them of fishing in Lankan waters. Fishermen from Tamil Nadu were also held and imprisoned by Lankan authorities. As a result of the first bi-lateral talks held on January 27, Indian fishermen and their vessels were released by Lankan Government. For this benevolence, we are very grateful to you. But the five boats seized on July 30 last year were impounded and announced as nationalised by the Lankan government and now the boats are lying in Jaffna harbour. It was conveyed that these boats would be released at the earliest after getting due orders from the President of Sri Lanka. So I request your good office to release those boats at the earliest.”
Letters requesting the release of the boats were also sent to Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka Dr Pieris, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister of Sri Lanka Dr Rajitha Senarathne, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka P Kumaran and Joint Secretary of Ministry of External Affairs of India Suchitra Durai, requesting them to take immediate steps to release the five boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen.