Chennai: Taking strong exception to the recent arrest of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday requested the Centre to send out an "unequivocal" and "unambiguous" message to ensure that such acts cease hereafter.
"After a brief lull, Sri Lanka has again resorted to intensive aggressive action against Tamil Nadu fishermen and three further incidents of a large number of fishermen being apprehended have occurred, since I last wrote to you", she said in her letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Over the past two days, 57 fishermen and their eight boats have been apprehended by Sri Lankan Navy, she said.
Noting that the Union Government has "acted promptly" in securing the detained fishermen on several occasions, she said "Sri Lankan side's attitude has hardened and they are adopting harsher and more devious tactics to cause permanent and long-standing economic damage to poor and innocent fishermen".
The Lankan Navy had also started detaining fishermen and their boats in distress or those engaged in the rescue of distressed boats, she said, adding these trends have to be reversed to protect the livelihood of the fishermen.
"This is possible only if a firm, clear, unequivocal and unambiguous message is sent out by the Government of India to the SRO Lankan side that these hostile acts against Indian fishermen would not be tolerated and should cease forthwith."
"Such a message should be delivered to those at the highest level on the Sri Lankan side as impulse for such a cruel and ruthless strategy against Tamil Nadu fishermen appears to flow from the very top", she said.