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Stalin writes to EAM to secure release of fishermen arrested by Lankan Navy

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Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday urged External Affairs Minister Dr.S.Jaishankar to take diplomatic steps to secure the release of 37 fishermen from the state arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy and their fishing boats.

In a Demi-Official letter to Dr Jaishankar, Mr Stalin urged him to prevail upon the Sri Lankan Government for securing the release of 37 arrested fishermen of Tamil Nadu and to secure expeditious release of the seized boats and find a lasting solution to this vexatious issue.

This is the second letter written by him the External Affairs Minister in the last three days.

“As I had pointed out in my previous letter, the incidents of arrests and intimidation have been continuing unabated resulting in loss of livelihoods”, he said.

Despite this, yet again, on June 22, 22 fishermen from Rameswaram fishing harbour were apprehended along with their three mechanised fishing boats, he pointed out and requested Dr Jaishankar to ensure the immediate release of the apprehended fishermen and their boats.

“I would also like to inform that permission is yet to be granted for the salvage boats and crew for bringing back the released boats from Sri Lanka”, he added.

Mr Stalin said similarly, the requests of various fishermen associations in Tamil Nadu to visit the fishermen jailed in Sri Lanka, to provide them with some consolation and certain basic needs, should be proactively considered.

“It is imperative that urgent diplomatic initiatives are taken to resolve this festering issue”, he said.

Reiterating the need to revitalise the Joint Working Group that was set up to address this issue, the Chief Minister urged Dr Jaishankar to take this up with the Sri Lankan authorities and also to work towards a lasting solution to this issue.

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