DC (Chennai): AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala called upon Colombo to immediately free all the fishermen languishing in Lankan prisons and also release the fishing vessels impounded by the Sri Lankan Navy, ahead of Pongal festivities.
She also urged the Centre to prevail upon the island nation and ensure the safe return of the fishermen and help them reunite with their families to celebrate the harvest festival – Pongal.
Taking strong exception to the inhumane treatment meted out to the Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan, Sasikala said: “The continued aggression and inhumane treatment meted out to the Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy has caused me anguish. The latest incident is the detention of fishermen from Pudukottai district’s Jagathapattinam and impounding their fishing vessels on 4 January.”
As many as 51 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu, who were languishing in Sri Lankan prisons, were released yesterday as per a decision taken at a high-level meeting between the two countries earlier this week.
While 39 of the fishermen were produced before a court in Jaffna, the remaining 12 were produced before a court in Vavuniya, before being released.
They were later handed over to the Indian Deputy High Commission at Jaffna, Rameswaram Fishermen’s Association representative P Sesuraja said. During an India-Lanka ministerial-level talk on fishermen held in Colombo earlier this week, it was decided that Sri Lanka will release 51 Indian fishermen, while three of their Lankan counterparts will be freed by India. Source: PTI
â€‹New Indian Express (Chennai): Noting that the latest incident of fishermen from Tamil Nadu being apprehended by Sri Lankan Navy has come at a time when the fishing community here was hopeful of a permanent solution following the ministerial meeting at Colombo on Monday, Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam shot off another letter to the Prime Minister, urging him to send a firm message to the island nation against continuing such arrests.
On Wednesday, 10 fishermen from Jegathapattinam fishing base in Pudukkottai who had set out in two boats were apprehended and remanded to custody.
“A firm, clear, unequivocal and unambiguous message should be sent out by the Government of India to the Sri Lankan side to ensure that these trends are reversed and thereby clearly signalling that the Government of India is firmly committed to protect the livelihood of the poor and innocent fishermen from Tamil Nadu who are engaged in their traditional occupation and fishing in their traditional waters,” Panneerselvam said in his letter to Narendra Modi on Thursday.
There are 116 fishing boats and 61 fishermen in Lankan custody.