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Jaya slams Centre over arrest of fishermen by SL Navy

Last Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 17:55

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today lambasted Centre for what she termed as "facile do not touch policy" over the arrest of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan navy, and asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to personally take up the matter with Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Referring to the arrest of 140 fishermen in the last two days, she described them as "the largest and most outrageous acts of mass abduction" by the Sri Lankan navy, and slammed such "warlike acts", saying it could not have been carried out without the "tacit support" of Colombo.

"The entire fishing community in Tamil Nadu has lost its faith in the ability of the Government of India to protect the lives and livelihood of innocent fishermen in the high seas. Surely, we cannot continue our facile `do not touch policy` in the face of these audacious and high handed acts that violate the lives and livelihoods of our fishermen anymore," she said in a letter to Singh.

She expressed hope that Centre would "wake up to the reality of the situation," and come up with a concrete course of action to resolve the issue.
"The Sri Lankan High Commissioner in New Delhi must be summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs and our strong protest lodged. Mr. Prime Minister, Sir, you must personally take up this issue with the President of Sri Lanka without any further delay," she urged.
She expressed fears that failure to take immediate action could be disastrous for fishermen`s livelihood and could also flare up socio-economic tensions with the potential to snowball into a major law and order and security issue.

PTI
First Published: Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 17:55

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