Jan 31, Chennai: The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa on Friday accused the Sri Lankan Navy of deliberately spoiling the conducive atmosphere created by the recent talks by arresting 38 Tamil Nadu fishermen just days after the fishermen from the two sides held talks.
In a letter to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today, the Chief Minister said the "environment of goodwill has been totally vitiated" by the arrest of 38 fishermen on Wednesday (January 29) while they were fishing in their traditional waters in the Palk Bay.
"It appears to me that this incident of apprehension is an attempt by elements in the Sri Lankan Navy to deliberately spoil the conducive atmosphere created by the recent talks," she wrote.
Sri Lanka Navy says the fishermen were arrested along with their six boats in the sea off the Delft islet in the northern Jaffna peninsula.
The Sri Lankan Navy spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said the fishermen were warned to leave when they were spotted inside Sri Lankan waters but since they failed to do so they were arrested.
The Chief Minister asked the PM to "decisively" influence the Sri Lankan government to advise its Navy to refrain from such acts "in order to preserve the conducive atmosphere and to enable a pragmatic and workable solution to emerge for the day to day fishing activities of the fishermen to continue."
"I request you to convey an unequivocal and strong disapproval of the belligerent actions of the Sri Lankan Navy and also urge the Sri Lankan Government to direct its Navy not to resort to further illegal arrest and detention of our innocent fishermen," Ms. Jayalalithaa said in her letter.
She urged the Prime Minister to use the diplomatic channels in a "concrete and decisive manner" to secure the release of the 38 fishermen and their six boats.