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Jaya seeks PM intervention, says issue with SL cannot be compromised

CM Jayalalithaa today seeked the intervention of PM Narendra Modi on the arrest of TN Fishermen and insisted that the Sri Lankan issue cannot be compromised.

Jaya seeks PM intervention, says issue with SL cannot be compromised


Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi' personal intervention over the immediate release of 47 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and  their 57 fishing boats including the six fishermen and their boats apprehended  a few days ago.

In a Demi-official letter to Mr Modi, the Chief Minister requested him to direct the Ministry of External Affairs to strongly take up the matter with the Sri Lankan authorities to secure the release of fishermen and their boats.

The Chief Minister  also requested the Prime Minister to expedite the return of four Indian fishermen and their motorised craft that was stranded on Sri Lankan shores on December 8 due to mechanical failure.

In her letter, she said, "I write to bring to your notice that close on the heels of the incident of apprehension of fishermen from Tamil Nadu on December 17, there has been yet another incident on December 19 in which the Sri Lankan Navy apprehended one Mechanized Fishing Boat with 6 fishermen on board, who went for fishing from Jegathapattinam fishing base of Pudukottai District. The boat and the fishermen have been taken to Kankesanthurai in Sri Lanka.The frequency of apprehensions and abductions of the fishermen is on the increase. These recurrent instances of attacks upon, and abductions of our fishermen on the high seas in the Palk Bay should be stopped immediately and the  fishermen should be allowed to pursue their peaceful avocation of fishing in their traditional fishing waters of Palk Bay".

Ms Jayalalithaa said, it is the consistent stand of the Government of Tamil Nadu that the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) with Sri Lanka cannot be treated as a settled question as the constitutionality of the 1974 and 1976 agreements ceding Katchatheevu islet have been challenged on extremely valid and legal grounds by me, in my personal capacity, in the Supreme Court. Subsequently, the Tamil Nadu Government has also impleaded itself  in this case.

"The Comprehensive Special Package for deep sea fishing and infrastructure at a cost of Rs.1520 crore and the recurring grant of Rs.10 crore per annum for maintenance dredging, which I had requested as part of the Memoranda presented to you on June 3, 2014, August 7, 2015 was still awaiting for the approval of Government of India, Ms Jayalalithaa reminded to the Prime Minister. As on date, 56 fishing boats with their fishing gear are still languishing in Sri Lankan custody for several months. Long period of disuse and the exposure to the onslaught of an exceptionally strong North East monsoon this year would have inflicted severe damages to the boats and the equipment. The poor fishermen who are currently suffering a temporary loss of livelihood, would now be subjected to a huge permanent livelihood loss due to the damage to the fishing boats. I request that the Government of India take necessary action to restore in a refurbished condition the boats and fishing gear of these poor fishermen, the Chief Minister said.

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