Find lasting solution, Jayalalithaa writes to Modi

Festering Sri Lanka-TN fishermen issue

Chennai: With the Lankan Navy resuming attacks and arrests against Tamil Nadu fishermen, chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a time-bound plan to achieve “long-term, permanent solution to the problem and also to put in place a strong and robust diplomatic response”.

Referring to the most recent arrests on Saturday of 82 fishermen in two separate incidents, the CM told Mr Modi: “As an immediate measure, I request you to kindly ensure that India registers the strongest disapproval of the belligerent actions of the Sri Lankan Navy.” She wanted the PM to raise the issue with the highest level on the Sri Lankan side to secure the fishermen’s release.

Pointing out that there had been so far 77 incidents of apprehension and 67 incidents of harassment of Indian fishermen by the Lankan Navy in the last three years, she told the PM, “I am confident that with the Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu acting in concert, it would be possible to achieve a permanent solution to this vexatious issue.” The repeated attacks by the Lankan forces had caused distress and agitation among the fishermen community in Tamil Nadu, the CM said.

She contended that this resumption of aggression by the Lankans immediately after the change in government at Delhi and the consequent reset in the relations with Sri Lanka did not augur well for the peaceful pursuit of fishing in the Palk Bay by TN fishermen. “A permanent solution to this problem must be found by a decisive initiative under your leadership”, Ms Jayalalithaa told the PM.

Observing that retrieval of Katchatheevu and talks between fishermen of Sri Lanka and India could also help to resolve conflict, she said, “Even on this limited issue, the Sri Lankan side had adopted obdurate and obstructive attitude which led to the failure of the last round of talks held in Colombo in May 2014.” The CM also thanked Modi for his prompt action on her earlier letter on June 1, which led to the release of 33 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy.

( Source : dc correspondent )
Next Story