Chennai: NDA constituent PMK today slammed the Centre's 'soft approach' towards Sri Lanka, saying it had 'emboldened' Colombo to engage in activities, including arresting of Indian fishermen.
Party founder S Ramadoss alleged that following the recent visit of a BJP delegation under Subramanian Swamy to Sri Lanka, instances of arrest of fishermen from Tamil Nadu had increased.
He said Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had reportedly said his country would not release the boats of Indian fishermen.
According to the state government, 72 boats are in the custody of Colombo.
Ramadoss said it was 'undeniable' that Rajapaksa was speaking against India despite getting its support in the international arena.
"Whether it be the arrest of Tamil Nadu fishermen or allegations of war crimes, India's soft approach has emboldened Rajapaksa. If the Centre persists with such a policy, then it will be inimical to India's very interests," he said in a statement here.
He said that securing the boats of Indian fishermen by Colombo amounted to challenging the country's sovereignty and said the time had come for strong action against Sri Lanka.
Asking the Centre to ensure the release of 76 fishermen and 72 boats from Sri Lanka's custody, Ramadoss said New Delhi should not hesitate to initiate 'strong consular' action if its demand was not heeded to.