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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2342

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister terms arrest of poachers by SL Navy- ‘mid-sea abductions’

Colombo, 27 June, (Asiantribune.com):

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami in his latest letter to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described the poachers apprehended by the Sri Lanka Navy as “mid-sea-abductions.”

The Chief Minister has made such accusation knowing well that Sri Lankan Navy never crosses the IMBL and arrests were always made well within the Sri Lankan waters.

The Chief Minister’s letter was one of the crudest attacks leveled against the Sri Lanka Government and on one of its law enforcing agency – the Sri Lanka Navy.

Sri Lankan Navy used to arrest the Indian fishermen who enter Sri Lankan waters, with the intention of poaching by using bottom trawling measures and thus depriving the Northern fishermen of their livelihood.

Every time when Sri Lankan Navy arrests poachers, the chief minister writes to Indian PM urging him “to ensure their (Poachers) release along with their boats.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami referred to the recent arrest of 24 fishermen from Rameswaram and termed the continuing incidents as “mid-sea abductions” by the Sri Lankan Navy and further recalled Tamil Nadu’s repeated requests to the Centre to use all diplomatic means to prevail upon Sri Lanka and reverse this trend.- an ill-intentional accusation.

The copy of the letter recently addressed to Indian Prime Minister was released to the media, in which he has alleged that, “The alarming increase in the frequency of abductions by the Sri Lankan Navy is a matter of utmost concern for the government and the people of Tamil Nadu. An immediate intervention at the highest level is sought to resolve this long-standing livelihood issue of our fishermen.”

He has further alleged, “The frequent incidents have a “demoralizing impact” on not just the fishermen but the people of Tamil Nadu, he observed and further noted that the Sri Lankan government had not released any of the fishing boats that were apprehended since January 2015.”

He further alleged, “The Sri Lankan government’s inhumane strategy of not releasing the boats of our fishermen is causing great loss of livelihood to the fishermen and their families,” he noted.

The Chief Minister's letter concluded stating that, the State government is taking multifarious steps to convert trawling boats to long liners and gill netters in the shortest possible period, but all transitions “take time.” At present, a total of 42 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and 141 boats are in Sri Lankan custody.

The fisheries community in the North told ‘Asian Tribune,’ that it is time poachers arrested are kept in prisons till such time Tamil Nadu Chief Minister come up with reality and come forward to jail those poachers who are arrested and sentenced by the Sri Lankan courts whenever they are released on humanitarian grounds on the intervention of India's central government.

- Asian Tribune -

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami
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