Indian fishermen protesting Sri Lanka action call off strike

July 17th, 2008 - 5:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, July 17 (IANS) Fishermen in Tamil Nadu’s Rameshwaram, who were on strike against the Sri Lankan Navy’s killing of Indian fishermen, withdrew their indefinite strike following the intervention of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, the government said Thursday. Karunanidhi held talks with the representatives of the fishermen as their strike entered the 13th day. The Sri Lankan Navy had fired at the Indian fishermen off Nagappattinam coast, they said.

“The chief minister told us that our prime minister will take up the matter with Sri Lanka during the forthcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit and that an ex-gratia payment of Rs.300,000 would be given per person who died in Sri Lankan firing. Similar other promises have also resulted in our withdrawing our strike,” N.J. Bose, president of the Rameshwaram fishermen’s body, told reporters.

As the fishermen got an assurance from the chief minister, two protest movements called by pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) political parties are likely to be withdrawn. The pro-LTTE parties had said that they would hold protest demonstrations at the Sri Lankan deputy high commission here next week.

India and Sri Lanka are separated by the narrow Palk Straits.

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