Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K.Stalin on Monday urged External Affairs Minister Dr.S.Jaishankar to intervene diplomatically and secure the release of 15 fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy.
In a Demi-Official letter to Dr Jaishankar, he said “I want to bring to your attention a matter of utmost importance that requires urgent diplomatic intervention.”
“It concerns the recent apprehension of 15 fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan Navy and the confiscation of their fishing boats, which has caused distress and fear among the fishing community in our region”, he said.
Mr Stalin said the fishermen had ventured out for fishing in their boats and were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy on Sunday (July 9, 2023).
“As you are aware, thousands of fishermen’s livelihoods depend on fishing activities in the waters near the Indo-Sri Lankan maritime boundary. They solely rely on fishing to sustain their families and communities”, he said.
Unfortunately, incidents of apprehension by the Sri Lankan Navy have become distressingly frequent, plunging the fishermen and their families into deep anguish and uncertainty, he said.
“I request your esteemed office to intervene diplomatically with the Sri Lankan authorities to secure the immediate release of our apprehended fishermen and the return of all the fishing boats that have been seized”, he said.
“Through diplomatic channels, we can reach an amicable resolution that respects the rights and livelihoods of our fishermen while maintaining friendly bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka”, he added.
The 15 fishermen from Rameswaram were fishing near Neduntheevu when they arrested by Sri Lankan Navy.
The fishermen from Thangachimadam and Pamban had sailed in two mechanised boats on Saturday. When the boats were involved in fishing near Neduntheevu, the Sri Lankan Navy arrested them on charges of poaching in Sri Lankan waters.
They were taken to the Naval base in Kankesanthurai harbour.