Chief Minister Jayalalithaa appealed to the Prime Minister for his intervention in the detention of fishermen from Tamil Nadu by Sri Lankan Navy.
In a letter to Dr Manmohan Singh, the Chief Minister recalled her earlier letter of June 28 seeking his intervention to prevent incidents of harassment of fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, and said two more incidents of apprehension of fishermen from Tamil Nadu on July 2.
One boat with three fishermen went fishing from Mukundarayachathiram fishing base in Rameswaram on June 29.
The boat and the crew were reported to have been detained near Kalpitiya by the Sri Lankan Navy, alleging transportation of tobacco products. The fishermen and crew were reportedly taken to Negombo for further enquiry, she said in the letter.
She further said in another incident, one mechanised fishing boat with five crew members which went fishing from Rameswaram base got grounded in the sea near Katchatheevu.
A search boat with 5 crew members was sent to locate and tow the grounded boat back to the fishing base. It has been reported that both the boats with all the 10 crew members onboard were detained by the Sri Lankan Navy and they have been lodged in a Sri Lankan jail.
She said: “You are aware that already five Rameswaram fishermen are languishing in Sri Lankan jails due to a fabricated case since November last. The arrest of 13 more Rameswaram fishermen with their three boats has further confirmed the unrelenting, harsh attitude of the Sri Lankan Navy towards Tamil Nadu fishermen who seek to eke out their livelihood by fishing in the traditional Palk Bay waters.”
She requested the Prime Minister to take up issue with the Sri Lankan Government and arrange for the immediate release of all the fishermen of Rameswaram arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy. (The Hindu)