RAMESWARAM: Fishermen's associations on Tuesday came down heavily against the outfits that attacked Thirukumaran Natesan during his visit here on Tuesday to perform a pooja on Tuesday. They fear that due to the attack, fishermen venturing into the sea for their livelihood will be at the receiving end at the hands of the Sri Lankan Navy.
Thirteen mechanised boats associations and 10 country boat associations have expressed their disapproval for such an act stating that it has hurt the sovereignty of the country.
The general secretary of Tamil Nadu Mechanised Boat Association, N. J. Bose said that these outfits should have staged a demonstration against the state government and the Centre, which allowed Natesan to land in the country, but it was not correct to attack a foreign national, as well as the priest who was performing the pooja.
"We are afraid it will have a serious impact on the fishermen, who venture into the sea for livelihood," he said. He also said that the Sri Lankan Navy had attacked one boat and killed four fishermen when Sri Lanka lost to India in the cricket world cup final in April, 2011.
"This attack on Natesan will have serious consequences, especially when we are having peace talks with Sri Lankan fishermen over the attacks on Tamil fishermen," he said.
"These political outfits do not understand the concerns of fishermen tormented with safety issues, but involve in such activities for political stunt. Let them realise the Rameswaram fishermen are also Tamils who need safety," he insisted.
During the peace talks held in Chennai six months back, the Sri Lankan fishermen agreed to allow 70 fishing days for their Tamil counterparts and it was felt by everyone that it was a handsome offer from them. "Leaving aside 45 days of fishing ban period, where 18 fishing days will be lost, there will be 125 fishing days in a year and they allowing 70 days will greatly benefit Tamil fishermen," he stated.
Till date, 350 fishermen were killed from Rameswaram area and every alternate day, some or other issue erupts, affecting the fishermen community. Last week, members of the fishermen's associations met the Prime Minister and submitted a petition seeking their safety. (Source: The Times of India)