Stronger action needed by India against Sri Lanka: Jayalalithaa


Chennai : AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa Thursday demanded stronger action from the Indian government against Sri Lanka to prevent the island nation’s navy from attacking Indian fishermen.

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In a statement issued here she said: “As a first step, sending India’s Sukhoi aircraft for display at the 16th anniversary of the Sri Lankan Air Fair should be stopped. The Kachatheevu agreement has to be abrogated and the island brought back into the Indian map to bring India’s territorial waters to its original distance. India’s naval presence off the Tamil Nadu coast has to be stepped up.”

She added: “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should himself pick up the phone and speak to Mahinda Rajapaksa (Sri Lankan president) and tell him that if the atrocities against Indian fishermen are not stopped forthwith, Sri Lanka will have to face the consequences.”

According to her, hardly a week after India conveyed its strong objections to the Rajapaksa government through Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, over 100 fishermen from Tamil Nadu have been arrested by Sri Lanka.

“On 16.2.2011, the Sri Lankan Navy got into the act again and attacked Indian fishing boats and hurled petrol bombs on them before capturing 24 fishermen,” she added.

“Mere despatching of letters from Chennai to Delhi or sending messengers from Delhi to Colombo will not be of any use. The sequence of events clearly shows that the UPA government does not care about the letters Karunanidhi keeps despatching. And the Sri Lankan government does not care about India’s warning,” Jayalalithaa said.

She also termed as a “drama” the DMK party’s protest Wednesday led by Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi, who is Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s daughter.

Meanwhile, thousands of fishermen in coastal districts of Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and Karaikal districts in Pondicherry struck work for the second day Thursday, demanding release of fishermen detained by Sri Lanka.