Mar 21, Colombo: The Chief Minister of India's Tamil Nadu state J. Jayalalithaa has wrote to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday asking him to take a pro-active step to stop alleged attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.
The Chief Minister, referring to two incidents of attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen on Tuesday and early hours of Wednesday in the Palk Bay area, asked the Indian government to strongly condemn the continuing "murderous attacks" on Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.
The Sri Lankan Navy is accused of beating 8 fishermen who were in Vallam boats in mid sea, with iron pipes. In the other incident, which occurred early in the morning on Wednesday, 6 crew members of a boat was allegedly attacked by the Sri Lankan Navy with swords, in which 4 fishermen suffered serious cut injuries on their hands and arms.
"Despite repeated protests by the Tamil Nadu Government, it is disappointing that no strong deterrent diplomatic initiatives have been taken by the Government of India. This has resulted in even more outrageous, unprovoked and lethal attacks by the Sri Lankan Navy on Tamil Fishermen," the Chief Minister wrote.
She called the attacking the fishermen with swords and iron rods is "an act that is medieval in its barbarism."
"India cannot maintain a pusillanimous equanimity in the face of such repeated brazen and uncivilized assaults on innocent fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu, who are also citizens of India," the Chief Minister noted.
She said the latest attack is the fourth serious incident of attack by the Sri Lankan Navy in the space of the last one month.
Reminding that already 19 fishermen of Rameswaram are still in the judicial custody of Sri Lanka, the Chief Minister asked the Prime Minister to take pro-active steps to stop these "unabated brutal attacks as well as arrests of our innocent Tamil Nadu fishermen."
Indian fishermen, mainly from Tamil Nadu, illegally poaching in large scale with trawlers in Sri Lanka's waters, have become a serious threat to the livelihoods of Sri Lankan fishermen and they have urged the Sri Lankan authorities to prevent the Indian fishermen from stealing their livelihood.
Sri Lanka Navy denies its personnel attack the Indian fishermen who are poaching in Sri Lankan waters despite warnings.
Under the signing of the 1976 Agreement and the Exchange of Letters between India and Sri Lanka, fishing vessels and fishermen of one country fishing in the others' waters is clearly prohibited.
The Tamil Nadu government refuses to accept Sri Lanka's sovereignty over the uninhabited island of Katchatheevu, which the Chief Minister refers to as "traditional fishing waters" of Tamil Nadu fishermen.