T.N. CM Stalin writes to Union External Affairs Minister for release of fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka 

Tamil Nadu Chief M. K. Stalin

Tamil Nadu Chief M. K. Stalin
| Photo Credit: RAGU R

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin on Monday, June 24, 2024, wrote to Union External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar seeking to secure the immediate release of all the fishermen and their fishing boats apprehended by Sri Lanka.

“I write this letter to you to prevail upon the Sri Lankan Government for securing the release of 37 arrested fishermen of Tamil Nadu and to secure expeditious release of the seized boats,” Mr. Stalin said.

“As I had pointed out in my previous letter, the incidents of arrests and intimidation have been continuing unabated resulting in loss of livelihoods,” he added in his letter, a copy of which was released to the media.

Despite this, yet again, on June 22, 22 fishermen from Rameswaram fishing harbour were apprehended along with their three mechanised fishing boats, Mr. Stalin said in his letter. “I request you to ensure the immediate release of the apprehended fishermen and their boats,” he added.

“I would also like to inform that permission is yet to be granted for the salvage boats and crew for bringing back the released boats from Sri Lanka,” Mr Stalin pointed out. Similarly, the requests of various fishermen associations in Tamil Nadu to visit the fishermen jailed in Sri Lanka, to provide them with some consolation and certain basic needs, may be proactively considered, he added.

“It is imperative that urgent diplomatic initiatives are taken to resolve this festering issue. I have been reiterating the need to revitalise the Joint Working Group that was set up to address this. I therefore request you to take this up with the Sri Lankan authorities and also to work towards a lasting solution to this issue,” Mr. Stalin said.

Separately, BJP State president K Annamalai also wrote to Mr. Jaishankar requesting his intervention in ensuring the early release of the 22 Tamil fishermen detained by the Sri Lankan Navy & the boats belonging to them.

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