Palaniswamy says arrest of Tamil Nadu fishermen shows Sri Lanka's 'high handedness'

Chennai: The arrest of three state fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy is "disappointing" and shows "high-handedness" by the island nation, Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswamy said on Monday.

File image of E Palaniswamy. PTI

File image of E Palaniswamy. PTI

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said Sunday's arrest and the recent legislation enacted by the Sri Lankan parliament regarding impounding of boats and imposing huge fines on Indian fishermen cause a sense of "fear and unrest" among the fisherfolk.

"When the Government of India as well as government of Tamil Nadu are making all possible efforts to bring an amicable solution to fishing issues in the Palk Bay, the Sri Lankan government's response is not only disappointing but also a display of high-handedness," Palaniswamy said.

The three fishermen, who went fishing on 8 July, were from Jegathapattinam fishing base in Pudukottai district and were apprehended by the Sri Lankan navy and taken to Kangesanthurai port on Sunday.

The chief minister further said the strategy of the island nation to impound boats and gear of fishermen for longer periods resulting in irreparable damage to their equipment had already pushed them into "despondency."

"The strategy of Sri Lankan government to put in place mechanisms aimed at disrupting normalcy at sea and destroying primary means of livelihood of our fishermen, without having any respect for Indian diplomacy, are strongly condemned," he said.

Palaniswamy sought Modi's intervention for the release of 53 fishermen including the three arrested yesterday, along with 144 fishing boats in the custody of Sri Lanka.

Updated Date: Jul 10, 2017 20:37 PM

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