Sept 03, Chennai: The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu state of India, J. Jayalalithaa once again urged the Indian Prime Minister to get the Katchatheevu Island back from Sri Lanka and restore the Tamil Nadu fishermen's fishing rights to the waters around the island.
In a letter to Prime Minister Modi the Tamil Nadu CM on Tuesday asked the PM to find a suitable mechanism to resolve the "long pending fishing dispute" between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka by retrieving Katchatheevu and restoring the traditional fishing rights of Indian fishermen in the Palk Bay.
Ms. Jayalalithaa was writing to the PM following the arrest of 15 Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy on Monday night.
Sri Lanka Navy arrested 9 fishermen from Rameswaram on Monday night in the Sri Lankan waters between Delft and Katchatheevu islets along with their boat and handed over to the fisheries authorities in Jaffna. They have been remanded until September 16.
In a separate occasion, the Navy on Tuesday arrested another 6 fishermen from Ramanathapuram District when their fishing boat developed a mechanical failure and sank in Sri Lankan waters.
Sri Lanka released all the Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by the Navy previously but confiscated their 62 boats.
Jayalalithaa criticized a statement made by the Bharatiya Janata Party member, Dr. Subramanian Swamy that it was he who had advised the Sri Lankan Government not to release the boats of the Tamil Nadu fishermen.
She said Swamy's statement has given rise to "resentment and angst not only amongst the fishermen community but also amongst the entire population of Tamil Nadu."
The Tamil Nadu CM urged the Prime Minister to take the matter up with the highest authorities of the Sri Lankan Government and ensure the immediate release of the 15 fishermen now apprehended and all the 63 boats in their custody.