Chennai, March 5: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa again urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to personally intervene to get the 153 Indian fishermen released from Sri Lankan jails.
In a letter to Manmohan Singh which was released to the media here Wednesday, Jayalalithaa cited the latest arrest of 32 fishermen and said: “May I once again urge your personal intervention in the matter?”
“I also exhort you to decisively use all available diplomatic channels to secure the immediate release of 153 fishermen who are languishing in Sri Lankan jails including the 32 fishermen apprehended March 3 and 39 fishing boats from Sri Lankan custody at the earliest.”
Jayalalithaa said the arrest of the 32 fishermen came as a rude shock to the fishing community in Tamil Nadu as the second round of talks between fishermen of both countries has been proposed for March 13 in Colombo.
The first round of talks on the modalities of fishing in the Palk Strait, which divides India and Sri Lanka, was held Jan 27.
“The government of India is perceived as being a passive and mute spectator and not willing to understand and empathise with the sufferings of its own fishermen and their families,” Jayalalithaa said.