Chennai: Asserting that her government was committed to ensuring the rights of fishermen in traditional waters of Palk Bay, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalaithaa on Friday said the Centre should take concerted efforts to halt their repeated arrests by Sri Lankan Navy.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she cited the latest arrest of 12 Tamil Nadu fishermen along with two mechanised boats yesterday and said there was an "urgent and imperative need" to take appropriate steps to find a permanent solution to the issue.
It was 'unfortunate' that the apprehension and arrest of fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan Navy "continues unabated", she said.
"My Government stays committed to ensuring and upholding the traditional rights of fishermen from Tamil Nadu to fish in their traditional fishing waters of Palk Bay.
"The repeated attempts by Sri Lankan Navy to prevent the exercise of the traditional rights by our fishermen by continuing apprehensions, arrests and assaults cannot be allowed to continue further and needs to be halted through concerted efforts by the Government of India," she said.
She urged Prime Minister to direct the External Affairs Ministry to take up the matter with Sri Lankan authorities to release of 27 fishermen, including the 12 apprehended yesterday, along with 73 fishing boats.
Referring to her earlier request to the Centre to release a comprehensive financial package of Rs 1,520 crore including Rs 10 crore every year for taking up deep sea fishing and developing infrastructure, she said, "I reiterate my request for early sanction" of the proposal.