Fishermen arrest is challenge to India: Stalin

Citing the recent arrest of fourteen Tamil fishermen, Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday said that so far 198 Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested by Sri Lankan Navy in one year and urged Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to take steps to release the fishermen apprehended by Sri Lankan Navy, at the earliest.

“I wish to draw your attention to yet another incident of apprehension of Tamil Nadu fishermen along with their mechanised fishing boat by the Sri Lankan Navy on the night of November 16. In this year alone, 198 Tamil Nadu fishermen were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy,” said Stalin, in a DO letter.

He also said that the frequent imprisonments and seizure/damage of boats by the Sri Lankan Navy have shattered the livelihood of fishermen who are totally dependent on fishing. Even after repeated appeals from the Indian side, these apprehensions continue to take place and presently 100 boats belonging to Tamil Nadu fishermen were held in Sri Lanka.

“At this moment, I would like to reiterate that the government of Tamil Nadu is keen on protecting the traditional fishing rights of the Indian fishermen. The Sri Lankan Navy’s continued act of infringements upon the traditional rights of our fishermen in the Palk Bay area appear like a challenge to India. I request that the diplomatic steps required in this regard may kindly be taken so that it does not recur,” said Stalin.