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Jayalalithaa urges Manmohan to secure release of TN fishermen

[Hindu, Tuesday, 21 June 2011 11:09 No Comment]

JAYA_663543e Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene and secure the release of 23 Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka on June 20, saying frequent incidents of arrest and detention of fishermen crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line is a “vexatious issue” and “worrisome”.

Referring to the latest incident where the island republic’s Navy had arrested 23 Tamil Nadu fishermen “who accidentally strayed into Sri Lankan waters”, she said she was “distressed” and sought the Prime minister’s intervention for their immediate release.

“I am distressed to note that the Sri Lankan Navy has again taken into custody 23 fishermen along with five boats because they strayed accidentally into Sri Lankan waters. I seek your kind intervention in this issue and request you to ensure that the Sri Lankan government releases the fishermen immediately,” she said in a letter to Dr. Singh.

She recalled Dr. Singh’s intervention in May 2011 for release of four fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka after their boat capsized.

“I wish to reiterate that the frequent incidents of arrest and detention of Tamil Nadu fishermen crossing International Maritime Boundary Line which is very close to the shore off Rameswaram in Palk Bay, is worrisome. This also creates a lot of tension and unrest among fishermen in Tamil Nadu.”

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