Chennai: Chief Minister Edappadi K..Palaniswami on Tuesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately direct the Ministry of External Affairs to take concrete action through diplomatic channels and secure the immediate release of 46 fishermen and 26 fishing boats ta-ken captive by Sri Lanka.
Also, he urged the Centre to act decisively and find a solution and permanently resolve this long-standing fishermen issue.
In a letter to PM, a copy of which was made available to the media here, Mr. Palaniswami said in yet another incident, 7 fishermen in a motorised country craft who set sail for fishing from Nagappattinam fishing base of Nagappattinam district were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy on Feb. 9 and taken to Trinconamalle.
Since the past 2 months, 42 fishermen belonging to Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai and Nagappattinam districts were apprehended in 9 different incidents by the Sri Lankan Navy.
“It is very unfortunate that this trend of apprehension and prolonged incarceration of our fishermen in the Sri Lankan jails is subjecting them and their families back home to untold misery and push the families into abject poverty,” he said. The CM “strongly reiterated” the need to restore the traditional fishing rights of our fishermen in the Palk Bay by annulling the Indo-Sri Lankan agreements of 1974 and 1976, as the constitutional validity of these agreements have been challenged on extremely valid and legal grounds in the Supreme Court of India in W.P. (Civil) No.561/2008.