Fishermen on Friday announced the launch of an indefinite strike, protesting further extension of judicial remand of 41 fishermen from Rameswaram and demanding the immediate release of all the 146 fishermen incarcerated in Sri Lankan prisons.
As news broke out that the Mannar district court has extended the judicial remand of 41 Rameswaram fishermen till September 20, leaders of 11 fishermen associations convened an emergency meeting here on Friday and decided to launch an indefinite strike from Saturday.
P. Sesu Raja, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Coastal Mechanised Boat Fishermen Association, said the meeting expressed dismay over the extension of remand when the fishermen were hopeful of their release, especially after a delegation met Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Sri Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam in Delhi a few days ago.
In all, 141 fishermen arrested in the last two months and five fishermen arrested on charges of drug trafficking in November 2009 were lodged in prisons of Sri Lanka. The 141 fishermen included 41 from Rameswaram, 35 from Pamban, 34 from Nagapattinam and 31 from Karaikal.
Three days ago, the Point Pedro court had ordered the release of 34 Nagapattinam fishermen, but they refused to return as the court did not release their five trawlers.
Mr. Raju said the meeting decided that fishermen would hoist black flags on their boats on Sunday to register protest against the “Centre’s apathy” towards the fishermen.
The protest was also to urge the authorities secure the fishermen’s traditional fishing rights in the Palk Bay and retrieve Katchatheevu.
The indefinite strike was also to urge the State and Central governments to arrange for a meeting between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen to work out a solution for peaceful fishing in Palk Bay. (The Hindu)
Similar to the exchange of prisoners of war in war affected countries, why not adopt the same policy for exchange of illegal fishermen between the two countries?
Prometheus Saturday, 07 September 2013 08:35 AM
Yes, please. Go on an indefinite strike. That means less poaching in SL waters and more opportunities for local fisherman. The boats local fisherman use especially ones from the north are tiny compared to the massive trawlers of TN. So indeed! Please go on an indefinite strike
Antony Saturday, 07 September 2013 09:08 AM
We can not condone the imprisonment of these innocent fishermen who are struggling to make a daily living and I honestly sympathyse with them.
Unfortunatlly the power hungry politicians like Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi do not care who they use as political pawns to achive their ultimate goal of remaining in power and these innocent people fall prey to them. These cunning poiliticians are very clever in picking out the issues that people are most sensitive to.
Making matters worse these politicians have taken tha central govenmnrt hostage with their votes, rendering the government and its PM ineffctive. Factually these guys should be behind bars and not the poor fishermen.
Calistus Jayatilleke Saturday, 07 September 2013 12:03 PM
Sadly these fishermen cannot understand that poaching in territorial waters of other countries is an illegal act and deserve legal action. Wonder if they think that it is their birth right to enjoy the so called "traditional rights" in neighbouring countries. Anyway, going on strike is to be welcomed as it will ease the situation for the Sri Lankan fishermen.
Ramani Saturday, 07 September 2013 12:30 PM
What about those our chaps took into custody by Indian navy for straying into Indian waters a few days back? No demonstrations from their relatives so far? Why outcry only from Tamil Nadu - Smell fishy???
Abdul Saturday, 07 September 2013 06:45 AM
think about that before you cross our border
Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.