The persistent efforts of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa bore fruit on Friday as the Sri Lankan government completed the exercise of releasing all Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested after the first round of talks held on January 27. In reciprocation, Tamil Nadu government has also released 39 Lankan fishermen and their boats. Further, the State government has fixed March 25 as the date for the next round of fishermen-level talks to be held in Colombo.
The Chief Minister reiterated her stand at an election campaign at Kangeyam on Thursday that the next round of talks would be held only after the release of all fishermen arrested by the Lankan Navy. Lanka released 116 fishermen and 26 boats on Wednesday and 24 fishermen and five boats on Thursday. Similarly, on Friday, the island nation released 32 fishermen and eight boats.
The Chief Minister has been taking prompt action whenever Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested on charges of crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line while fishing. In the last 33 months, many fishermen have been released quickly due to her efforts.
Governor K Rosaiah too, in his address to the State Assembly on January 30, lauded the efforts taken by the Chief Minister to rescue the fishermen arrested by Lankan authorities. He said the CM had been waging a heroic and relentless struggle to retrieve Katchatheevu and put an end to the woes of fishermen.