Chennai, March 20: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa Thursday said the second round of talks between the Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen can be held March 25 only if all the arrested Indian fishermen and their boats are released before that date.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the text of which was released to the media here, Jayalalithaa said: “I wish to reiterate categorically that, in order to ensure that the talks are conducted in a conducive atmosphere, all the apprehended Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody should be released.
“The talks can take place as scheduled on March 25, only if all our fishermen and their boats are released before that date.”
Citing the arrest of 74 Indian fishermen belonging to the state and Puducherry by the Sri Lankan Navy Wednesday, she said: “This latest incident, coming as it does on the eve of the fishermen level talks, is an extremely unfortunate episode. This belligerent action has caused tremendous anxiety and agitation amongst the fishermen community in Tamil Nadu.”
The first round of talks between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen were held here in January. The second round is slated to be held in Colombo.