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* Indian Prime Minister to contact Tamil Nadu government on arranging fishermen talks
Mon, Dec 30, 2013, 09:50 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 30, Colombo: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh plans to contact the Tamil Nadu government led by Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa to arrange talks between the Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen representatives to resolve the thorny issue of fishermen arrests by both sides.

The PM on Monday has told a delegation of fishermen associations from Tamil Nadu that he would contact the Tamil Nadu government this week for arranging talks on the fishing issue to end the arrests of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, The Hindu reported.

The fishermen delegation, led by Congress MP from Cuddalore, K.S. Alagiri has met the PM today and explained that over 280 fishermen from Tamil Nadu have been arrested and jailed and their boats have been seized by Sri Lanka and the lives of their families have severely been affected.

The delegation has told the Prime Minister unlike the earlier practice where the fishermen were warned or chased away from the area, now Sri Lanka arrest them and jail for a long time.

In a desperate attempt to deter the Indian fishermen crossing the Interactional Maritime Boundary Line and stealing the livelihood of Sri Lankan fishermen, the Sri Lankan government recently adopted a policy of detaining the Indian fishermen for lengthy terms and confiscating their trawlers and boats.

The Congress MP has told The Hindu that he informed the PM about his recent visit to Sri Lanka where he met the Economic Development Minister and advisor to the President, Basil Rajapaksa.

At the meeting MP Rajapaksa has told the Congress MP that Sri Lankan government is ready to arrange for talks between the fishermen representatives of India and Lanka to end this problem.

However, there was no response from the TN government so far for the proposal, the Congress MP has told the PM.

Responding to Mr. Alagiri, the Prime Minister has said that he would take up the issue with the TN government this week and take steps for holding such talks between the fisher folks of the two countries.

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