Govt to ensure early release of boats seized by Lanka: Minister

Government is taking necessary steps to ensure release of boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen seized by Sri Lanka, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan on Monday said.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 04, 2014, 19:01 PM IST

New Delhi: Government is taking necessary steps to ensure release of boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen seized by Sri Lanka, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan on Monday said.

"The Centre is making all efforts in this regard, without an iota of doubt.... The Ministry of External Affairs is holding meetings this week over the issue," the Minister, who was elected from Kanniyakumari in Tamil Nadu, said outside Parliament House here.

Radhakrishnan, who is Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise, said that he has taken up the issue with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

He exuded confidence that a lasting solution would be found.

Fed up with frequent arrests and alleged harassments by Sri Lankan naval personnel, fishermen from Rameswaram had threatened to proceed to the island nation with their families yesterday and "surrender" to officials there.

However, the protest was withdrawn after Radhakrishnan spoke to the fishermen over phone and assured them that steps will be initated for early release of boats.

Fishermen of Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu have been boycotting fishing since July 24 to press their demands including putting an end to frequent arrests and alleged harassment by Sri Lankan Navy personnel.