CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar urging him to initiate diplomatic efforts with the Sri Lanka government to secure the release of 17 fishermen detained by the Lankan Navy.
In the letter, Stalin sought to draw Jaishankar’s attention to the matter, saying that “three mechanised boats and 17 Tamil Nadu fishermen were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy, allegedly for crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) into Sri Lankan waters”.
These boats bore registration numbers IND-TN-10-MM-407, IND-TN-08-MM-214 and IND-TN-16-MM-2046, he detailed in his latter.
“The recurring incidents of Tamil Nadu fishermen being apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy continue to aggravate the atmosphere of fear and uncertainty among the fishermen in the region. These fishermen, who rely on fishing as their primary and sole source of livelihood, sometimes find themselves unintentionally drifting into Sri Lankan waters due to the absence of clear demarcation and navigational challenges. The apprehensions by the Sri Lankan Navy have escalated tensions, disrupted lives, and caused economic hardships to the fishermen and their families,” the Tamil Nadu CM added in his letter.
Stalin urged Jaishankar to employ urgent diplomatic measures to secure the release of the Indian fishermen at the earliest.
He also called upon the External Affairs Minister to find “a lasting diplomatic solution through bilateral negotiations to bring peace in the lives of thousands of Indian fishermen”.
Attacks on Indian fishermen by Lankan pirates have been on the rise for the last six months as an aftermath of the recent economic slowdown in the neighbouring country. (ANI)