Take strong stand against Sri Lanka: Jayalalithaa urges PM


Chennai : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa Monday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take a strong stand against the Sri Lankan government over repeated attacks on Indian fishermen.

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In a letter to Manmohan Singh, copies of which were released to the media here, Jayalalithaa said: “I request you to kindly take a strong stand against the Government of Sri Lanka with regard to such attacks on our fishermen and convey your serious apprehension through tough words and action, since as already stated by me on 10.10.2011, the attacks should be viewed as a National issue and not as an isolated problem of Tamil Nadu alone.”

Citing the recent attacks on the Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan naval forces Jayalalithaa said: “On 4.11.2011, there was an incident in which naval personnel in a Sri Lankan naval ship came near a mechanised boat off the coast of Kodiakarai of Nagapattinam district, cut the ropes of the nets of the fishermen and threw stones at the boat, in which one fisherman sustained severe head injuries.”

“Likewise on 5.11.2011, Sri Lankan Navy personnel attacked a mechanised fishing boat off Rameswaram base near Katchatheevu and the boat driver sustained serious injuries and had to be admitted in a hospital,” the letter notes.

According to Jayalalithaa, the letter is written with a “deep sense of concern about the safety and well being of the fishermen of Tamil Nadu, who are now being attacked almost on a daily basis by the Sri Lankan Navy/miscreants.”

“May I also point out that there seems to be a definite pattern of attacks by the Sri Lankan Navy/miscreants to create a fear psychosis amongst the innocent Tamil Nadu fishermen with a view to forcing them to desist from eking out their livelihood in their traditional areas of fishing in the Palk Bay area?,” the letter notes.

In her letter, Jayalalithaa said: “There is a deep feeling of unrest and concern among the fishermen community in particular and the entire State in general due to such incidents that have not stopped despite our repeated appeals to the Government of India and the diplomatic efforts of the Government of India.”