Summon Lankan envoy to condemn arrest of fishermen: Jaya to PM
Chennai, Mar 14: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today condemned the arrest of 53 fishermen from Rameswaram by the Lankan Navy and urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to lodge India's strong protest by urgently summoning the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in New Delhi and take steps for their release without foisting cases against them.
In a semi-official letter to the Prime Minister, copies of which were released to the media here, she said the 53 fishermen in nine mechanised boats, who had ventured into the sea for fishing yesterday from Rameswaram, were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy and taken to Thalaimannar and Delft Island, where they were kept in their custody.
"The increasing belligerence of Sri Lanka in the recent past to Indian fishermen fishing in their traditional fishing areas, as exhibited by the spurt of arrests and violence, is worrisome", she said.
"We expect the Indian government to respond and react pro-actively when incidents of this nature happen. Let Sri Lanka not be emboldened by your silence and construe it as a sign of weakness and indifference towards our fishermen", she added.
"I request you to urgently summon the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in New Delhi and lodge the Indian government's strong protest against the continuing arrests and incidents of violence against the fishermen of Tamil Nadu, including the recent incident of firing on an innocent fisherman", Ms Jayalalithaa said.
She also requested the Prime Minister to advise the Sri Lankan government to release the arrested fishermen without foisting any criminal cases and desist from future provocations through needless arrests and acts of violence.
Reiterating her strong disapproval of the high handed attitude of Sri Lanka, the Chief Minister sought the urgent intervention of the Prime Minister in this regard.