June 19, 2017
Chennai: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has personally taken up the issue of the arrest of five fishermen by Lankan Navy, and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal intervention to put an end to apprehensions at high seas.
The request comes a day after the arrest and he has asked Modi to direct the Ministry of External Affairs to secure the immediate release of 16 fishermen and 136 fishing boats.
“It has been reported that five fishermen from Tamil Nadu, who set out in a mechanised fishing boat on June 17 from Mandapam after a 61-day fishing ban, were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy, while fishing in their traditional waters in the Palk Bay, in the early hours of June 18 and taken to Karainagar,” he pointed out.
Repeated arrests and prolonged incarceration of fishermen was leading to unrest among the community in the State. It was in this backdrop that he requested the Centre to undertake a strong diplomatic stand and `prevent the recurrence of such incidents’.
“My Government reaffirms its commitment to find a pragmatic working solution and had initiated several measures with the support of Government of India.”
This necessitates an urgent intervention at the highest level of Sri Lankan administration to avert these arrests and for the `release and return of the fishing boats and equipment of our fishermen in a refurbished condition so as to win the confidence of our fishing community’, he adds.