Chennai: The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested 27 Tamil Nadu fishermen and detained 5 of their boats and the central government should take immediate steps to get them freed and secure the release of fishing vessels, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin urged the Centre on Monday. Writing to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Stalin said the 27 fishermen were arrested in two separate incidents.
On October 14, the Sri Lankan Navy arrested 23 fishermen hailing from Rameswaram and seized four boats for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line. In another incident, four fishermen were arrested and their mechanised fishing boat was seized by the island nation’s navy.
The Chief Minister requested the External Affairs Minister to take immediate diplomatic steps to secure the release of 27 Tamil Nadu fishermen and their 5 fishing boats.
‘As I have written to you earlier, these repeated instances of arrest and seizure have struck fear into the hearts of the fishing communities along our coastline.’
The livelihoods of these fishermen, who are often the sole breadwinners for their families are at stake. The economic implications of such recurrent arrests are profound, as they lead to not only loss of income for the fishermen and their families but also jeopardise the food security of countless individuals who depend on their catch, the CM added.
(Published 16 October 2023, 13:07 IST)