India has to follow soft approach towards Sri Lanka: TNCC

Last Updated: Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 15:50

Rameswaram: TNCC president president B Gnanadesikan on Saturday said India has to follow a soft approach towards Sri Lanka for the benefit of all concerned and to protect Tamils and Indian fishermen.

He said India considers Sri Lanka a friendly nation, taking into consideration the welfare of Tamils living there and the welfare of Indian fishermen. "We have to follow only a soft approach if all have to be benefitted and to protect the Tamils and fishermen," he said.

Gnanadesikan said there was need to protect fishermen from alleged attacks of Sri Lankan naval men and fishermen would have to celebrate St.Anthony`s festival in Katchativu, an islet ceded by India to Sri Lanka in the 1970s. "All this should be borne in mind," he said.

He said a committee comprising officials and fishermen from Sri lanka and India had been formed to resolve problems faced by Indian fishermen and scheduled to meet between Dec 1 and 7. But Tamil Nadu government`s delay in giving consent has seen the meeting postponed to third week of December, he said.

He said the Centre would consider the fishermen`s demand for a fishing harbour in Rameswaram. The centre would also take steps to secure the release of fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan government. "I am also pressing for it, he said.

Addressing a conference of fishermen, he stressed the need to desilt the sea for harbour and fishing purposes to benefit fishermen."Such a measure will help them fish in our territory itself," he said.

The congress leader also distributed Rs.10000 to each of the families of fishermen who died recently, as also assistance to 186 wards of fishermen.

Asked whom Congress would support in the December 4 Yercaud bypoll, he said the High command will decide on that.

He also said he was unaware when the Party organisational elections would be held in Tamil Nadu.


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First Published: Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 15:50

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