Feb 04, Colombo: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has written to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the continuing "predatory actions" by the Sri Lankan Navy targeting Indian fishermen will undermine all the confidence and goodwill the two countries are attempting to build.
The Chief Minister in her letter to the PM said Monday that these continuing "hostile acts of oppression" have caused "untold misery and hardship" to the apprehended fishermen and their families.
"This is even more heart-rending in the context of all the proactive steps that have been taken by my Government in recent weeks to facilitate direct talks between the Tamil Nadu fishermen and Sri Lankan fishermen which created an overall environment of goodwill," she said.
In the latest incident, Sri Lanka Navy arrested 19 Indian fishermen and seized their five trawlers in the sea off the Delft Island while they were fishing in Sri Lanka's waters.
"Such repeated actions undermine all the confidence and goodwill which we are attempting to build. It would give rise to greater frustration in the minds of the fishermen community in Tamil Nadu, not only about the attitude of the Sri Lankan Government, but also about the inability of the Indian Government to effectively protect their interests," the Chief Minister wrote.
She also questioned whether there is a deliberate attempt on the part of the Sri Lankan Navy to derail the process of finding a peaceful resolution to the issue.
The Chief Minister asked the PM to personally intervene and use the Indian government's diplomatic channels to secure the immediate release of 57 fishermen languishing in Sri Lankan Jails and their 11 boats.