Rameswaram fishers to meet Stalin on regular arrests by Sri Lankan Navy

The fishers’ demands include the immediate release of five fishermen who are in Sri Lankan jails

The delegation of fishermen wants all the boats to be retrieved (photo: IANS)
The delegation of fishermen wants all the boats to be retrieved (photo: IANS)


A delegation of fishermen from Rameswaram will meet Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin in Chennai on Tuesday, 27 February. The leader of the fishermen, P. Jesu Raja, said in a statement on Monday that the delegation would meet CM Stalin to appraise him of the continual arrests of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.

The delegation wants Stalin's assistance in finding a permanent solution to the issue that was affecting the lives of fishermen and their families, with the aid of the Centre. Their demands include the immediate release of five fishermen from Rameswaram who are in Sri Lankan jails.

The delegation will apprise CM Stalin that the fishermen’s mechanised boats have also been impounded by the Sri Lankan Navy, and they want all the boats to be retrieved.

In the statement, Jesu Raja also said they “want a permanent solution to be worked out by the two governments for fishers engaged in fishing along the Palk Bay”.

It may be noted that in early February, a Sri Lankan court had sentenced five fishermen to prison terms ranging between six months to two years, for the allegedly repeat offences of poaching. The court had also ordered the release of 37 other fishermen who had been remanded in judicial custody in the island nation since 2 February.

The fishermen's associations in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu had announced a fishing boycott from 17 February. Rameswaram's DMK MLA Katharbatcha Muthumarilingam intervened in the issue and assured the agitating fishermen that he would get them an appointment with the CM at the earliest, and convinced them to withdraw their relay hunger strike.

Tamil Nadu fisheries minister Anitha Radhakrishnan had also promised to find alternatives for the fishers, such as deep sea fishing, for which subsidies are being offered by the Union and state governments.

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