Take up fishermen harassment issue with Sri Lankan government: Jayalalithaa

June 28th, 2012 - 12:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Chennai June 28 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up the issue of harassment of fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy with the island nation’s government.

In a letter to Manmohan Singh Wednesday, the text of which was released to the media here Thursday, Jayalalithaa said: “I wish to reiterate that from time immemorial the fishermen of Tamil Nadu have been traditionally fishing in the waters near Katchatheevu, notwithstanding any geographical or political boundaries.”

Citing the latest incident of harassment of Indian fishermen by the island nation’s navy near Katchatheevu Tuesday, Jayalalithaa requested Singh to take up the issue with the Sri Lankan government and impress upon them the need to instruct their Navy to exercise restraint and refrain from harassing innocent Indian fishermen pursuing their livelihood in their traditional waters.

She said the Tuesday incident of harassment has shocked the state of Tamil Nadu and created a psychological fear in the minds of Indian fishermen.

According to her, around 704 mechanised fishing boats went for fishing in the sea from Rameswaram, June 25.

“Fishermen in 45 boats fishing near Katchatheevu 26.6.2012, were harassed by the Sri Lankan Navy. The Sri Lankan Navy is reported to have chased the fishermen and cut the ropes and damaged nets of 10 boats, resulting in huge loss to the fishermen,” her letter noted.

Katchatheevu is a small Indian island in the Palk Strait that was transferred to Sri Lanka in 1974.

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