DMK accuses Tamil Nadu C Jayalalithaa of overlooking fishermen row with Sri Lanka

Chennai, Jan.8 : A leader of the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu has accused Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa of not resolving a fishermen row that exists with neighbouring Sri Lanka.

DMK leader T.K.S. Elangovan said Jayalalithaa had not responded to eleven letters written by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to her on the subject.

"We have been fighting with the Government of India. Jayalalithaa is accusing the Government of India of not taking action against the Sri Lankan Government or, not taking any steps to protect Tamil Nadu fishermen. But so far, 11 letters were written to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu by the Prime Minister of India to facilitate a meeting between the fishermen of both the countries. But Jayalalithaa did not care to respond to those letters," said Elangovan.

Previously, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had told mediapersons that they wanted fishermen unions of both countries to meet and resolve the issue. But the delay in holding the meeting was attributed to the reluctance of Tamil Nadu Government to cooperate.

India and Sri Lanka are often embroiled in such situations where both parties claim to have arrested fishermen for wandering away and crossing international water boundaries.

Fishermen in Tamil Nadu have been constantly fighting to demand safety from the government.

Meanwhile, taking a dig at the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the president of the Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Pon Radhakrishnan, said their party would take stern action against Sri Lanka if they came to power.

"I hope if we come to power, definitely we will humble (sic) the Sri Lankan government not to harass our fishermen and if they do not listen to our BJP government, definitely the government will take appropriate steps to safeguard our fishermen," said Radhakrishnan.

Reportedly, Sri Lankan navy detained 22 Tamil fishermen on December 29.

As per the claims made by fishermen's association, Sri Lankan Navy has detained 210 fishermen along with 72 mechanised boats.

Chidambaram had also previously informed that the fishermen of the neighbouring countries would hold talks on January 20, 2014.

--ANI (Posted on 08-01-2014)

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