OPS urges Centre seeking action for release of TN fishermen from SL

In a letter to Union Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar, the AIADMK leader expressed concern that fishermen from Tamil Nadu were being apprehended frequently by the Sri Lankan Navy while they pursue their traditional occupation of fishing.
O Paneerselvam; Dr S Jaishankar
O Paneerselvam; Dr S Jaishankar

CHENNAI: AIADMK leader and former chief minister O Paneerselvam urged the Centre to prevail upon the Sri Lankan government for releasing fishermen from Tamil Nadu, who were arrested by the Lankan Navy in the midsea.

In a letter to Union Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar, the AIADMK leader expressed concern that fishermen from Tamil Nadu were being apprehended frequently by the Sri Lankan Navy while they pursue their traditional occupation of fishing.

Panneerselvam pointed out that on August 10, 2022, a total of nine fishermen from Nagapattinam district were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy, and subsequently within a few days another ten fishermen from the same district were apprehended in the mid-sea and seized their fishing boat for allegedly crossing international maritime boundary line besides remanding them at the Trincomalee prison in the island nation.

"I am pained to point out here that the incidents of apprehension of innocent Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy have become a regular occurrence in the past few months," he said adding that from continuous incidents of apprehension, it is very obvious that the intention of Sri Lankan Navy is to infuse panic in the mids of the fishermen and thwart them from conducting fishing in their traditional waters.

Stating that the frequent arrest of the fishermen in the State has also created a feeling of uncertainty in the minds of fishermen, the AIADMK coordinator said, "They also feel that there is no guarantee for their life and property in the sea in the prevailing situation".

Reiterating that the frequent incidents of arrest and detention of Tamil Nadu fishermen are worrisome, the AIADMK leader said that the families of the arrested fishermen and various fishermen associations have requested to pursue their livelihood.

"Therefore, I request you to take immediate steps to initiate a diplomatic dialogue with the government of Sri Lanka to immediately stop the recurrence of such incidents of apprehension of Tamil Nadu fishermen and urge you to ensure for the immediate release of them and their boats".

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