Fishermen issue: Jaya writes to PM again

Last Updated: Thu, Jun 28, 2012 18:35 hrs

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has written to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh again asking him to draw attention of the Sri Lanka government to the issue of frequent attacks on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo wrote to Singh and told him that India should urge Sri Lanka government to take steps in instructing the country´s navy to exercise restrain and not harass Indian fishermen.

Jayalalithaa said fishermen from Tamil Nadu have been fishing near the waters in Kachchatheevu ´from time immemorial´.

"I wish to reiterate that from time immemorial the fishermen of Tamil Nadu have been traditionally fishing in the waters near Katchatheevu, notwithstanding any geographical or political boundaries," read Jayalalithaa´s letter.

Jayalalithaa reportedly made reference to an incident on June 26 where the Sri Lankan Navy harassed fishermen in 45 boats by damaging nets besides cutting the ropes near Kachchatheevu.

"Fishermen in 45 boats fishing near Katchatheevu on 26.6.2012, were harassed by the Sri Lankan Navy. The Sri Lankan Navy is reported to have chased the fishermen and cut the ropes and damaged nets of 10 boats, resulting in huge loss to the fishermen," said the letter.

She said the entire incident has ´shocked´ Tamil Nadu besides creating ´psychological fear´ in the minds of fishermen residing in the state.

Katchatheevu island was given to Sri Lanka by India in 1974 on a conditional basis. It has a Catholic shrine and has been declared as a sacred area by the government of Sri Lanka.

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