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Palaniswami writes to Modi seeking immediate release of Indian fishermen

(UDHAYAM, CHENNAI) – Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Monday (26) wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the arrest of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. He urged the Prime Minister to take up the issue with the highest authorities in the Sri Lankan Government and ensure the immediate release of 42 fishermen, including 14 fishermen who were apprehended on Saturday (24), and 141 boats in their custody.

In his letter, the Chief Minister said according to reports, 11 fishermen in two boats who set sail from Rameshwaram, and three fishermen who set sail from Kottaipattinam fishing base in Pudukottai were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy in the late hours of Saturday and taken to Thalaimannar and Kankesanthurai, Sri Lanka, respectively.

He also said that the Sri Lanka Government had not released any of the fishing boats that had been apprehended since January 2015. He said this “is causing great loss of livelihood to the fishermen and their families.”

The Chief Minister sought an “immediate intervention at the highest level” to resolve this long-standing issue. He added that the State Government was taking steps to convert “trawling boats to long liners and gill netters in the shortest possible period.”

“The Sri Lankan policy of abduction of boats in this transition period without respite only indicates its increasing intolerant attitude and the scant respect for the Indian diplomatic efforts,” Chief Minister Palaniswami wrote.

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