“Continued attacks have created insecurity among fishermen”: Jayalalitha
The Centre should assert itself with the Sri Lankan Government to control the “rogue elements in the Sri Lankan Navy” who continue to indulge in acts of physical assault on innocent fishermen from Tamil Nadu, said Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
In her fifth letter to the Prime Minister, after assuming charge as the Chief Minister in May, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the continued attacks on Tamil fishermen have created a feeling of insecurity among the fishermen community and despair over the apparent inaction of the Centre to prevent such attacks despite the State’s repeated requests.
The attacks on Tamil fishermen, who, for several generations, are engaged in fishing for their livelihood in the Palk Bay area, has to be treated as a national issue since such attacks should be construed as attacks on India, she said.
The attacks and harassment of the Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy has caused great unrest amongst the people in the State and despite the Prime Minister taking up the issue with the Government of Sri Lanka and their stated assurances in this regard, the attacks continued unabated and the situation was worsening day by day, Ms. Jayalalithaa said.
Recalling the latest incident which occurred on November 15 when a fisherman of Rameswaram was seriously injured when Indian fishing boats were attacked, allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy personnel, near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) off Kachchatheevu, she said it has been reported that as many as 15 Sri Lankan Navy men came in a high-speed patrolling vessel and threw stones on the fishermen. This resulted in a severe head injury to Selvaraj, a fisherman, who started bleeding profusely and had to be brought ashore with the help of his fellow fishermen and admitted in hospital for treatment.
Sharing her apprehension of the “double standards” adopted by the Sri Lankan government, which issued statements on the need for treating the straying fishermen on a humanitarian basis, but continued to be silent on the attacks launched by its own Navy, Ms. Jayalalithaa sought the Prime Minister’s urgent action in this regard.
Source: The Hindu
Greedy tamil fishermen may always heading towards sl. That’s the thing need to be solved by big mama at first.!
Mrs Jayalalitha is fishing in troubled waters. This has become her pet subject instead of attending to more crucial issues in governing Tamil Nadu. By pleasing LTTE supporters in TN through occasional rants against SL she hopes to gain their support.
Thousands of Indian fishing boats from TN and Kerala cross our side of the maritime boundary daily in Palk Straits. They also base themselves in Kachchitivu island which is SL territory from ancient times and conceded by Indira Ghandhi officially. It is the livelihood of our Tamil fishermen which is at stake, as the Indian fishermen are robbing them of their livelihood by transgressing deliberately the IMBL. It is probably too expensive for these fishermen to have Sat Nav systems installed in their boats to prevent crossing the IMBL. Perhaps joint patrol by Indian and SL Navy may resolve this issue by preventing such transgressions.
Instead of ranting against SL Navy, Mrs Jayalalitha should invite all parties concerned for regular meetings in TN and SL alternatively every year to resolve this issue amicably and for continued monitoring. That would be a sensible and civilised approach instead of trying to score party political points. The parties concerned are the fishermen representatives and Navies of both sides. Alternatively, let fishermen of both countries fish on a quota basis with no IMBL, for a trial period. This means only 500 boats from each side allowed, monitored jointly by Indian and SL navies. Boats will have to display their respective national flags. Large scale trawler fishing should be disallowed.