Following the arrests of 12 fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan Navy on Sunday, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking their release.
In a letter to the PM, a copy of which was released to the media, he said, “It is unfortunate that these incidents have taken place at a time when our fishermen have been hoping that a pragmatic and permanent solution to this issue would emerge, as was discussed at the meetings of the External Affairs Minister had with Tamil Nadu Ministers on March 17, and with Tamil Nadu fishermen on March 21.”
“I reiterate that the issue of apprehension of our fishermen and release of their boats be taken up at the highest diplomatic level and the Government of India take necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of our fishermen,” Palaniswami urged.
He also sought the Prime Minister to send a firm, clear, unequivocal and unambiguous message to Sri Lanka to put an end to the arrest of fishermen. The livelihood of the fishermen should be protected.
The Chief Minister referred to the meetings the Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister and fishermen representatives had with External Affairs Minister recently.
“The most recent act of the Sri Lankan Navy again created ‘anxiety’ and ‘unrest’ in the minds of our fishermen and vitiates the atmosphere of hope which was generated as a result of these meetings,” he stated.
Requesting financial package of Rs 1,650 crore to improve the socio economic status of fishermen, he said, “early action on reaching a permanent solution and long term diversification measures must be taken up on a war footing.”