Posted on July 24th, 2012

by Walter Jayawardhana

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha has insisted the Central government.that arrangements should be made with Sri Lanka government to ease Indian fishermen to fish in the Sri Lanka waters off Katchteevu.

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa Jeyaram on July 23 requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to arrange for the immediate release of 23 fishermen from Rameswaram, apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy on previous day, off Katchatheevu of Sri Lanka and take up with the Sri Lankan government the need to advise its Navy to refrain from arresting fishermen.

In a letter to Dr. Singh, the Chief Minister brought to his notice the latest incident which, she stated, was the second one in 15 days.

The fishermen are at present at Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka, having been remanded for two weeks.

“The incidents of apprehension and harassment by the Sri Lankan Navy have become a regular occurrence in the past two months, especially after the end of the fishing ban period. The intention of the Sri Lankan Navy to instill fear in the minds of the fishermen and prevent them from fishing in their traditional waters is very obvious from the incident of apprehension.

“The actions of the Sri Lankan Navy have created a feeling of insecurity in the minds of the fishermen, who feel that there is no guarantee for their life and property in the sea, in the prevailing situation,” wrote Ms. Jayalalithaa.

She said that the Sri Lankan Navy would suspend apprehension and harassment only when diplomatic-level meetings were convened on the fishing issue but would resume such activities immediately thereafter, much to the woes of the fishermen.

“Unless the Government of India intervenes in this issue, there is every possibility of recurrence of such incidents in the coming months,” she added.


  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    The newspaper Indian Express News Service, has this story of the same incident :

    “Fishermen misbehaved, will be released soon: SL envoy

    By Express News Service – NEW DELHI 24th July 2012 08:08 AM
    Sri Lanka has assured early release of the captured Indian fishermen who strayed across the international boundary, even as it claimed that there was “deliberate” misbehaviour by the fishermen who rammed a Sri Lankan naval boat.

    According to reports from Tamil Nadu, the Indian fishermen were captured yesterday by the Sri Lankan navy, who also attacked their boats near Katchatheevu in the Palk Strait. They were produced before a judicial magistrate in Mannar and remanded to custody till August 6.

    But, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, Prasad Kariyawasam said that the Indian fishermen may return home earlier than August 6.

    “We are trying to get the Indian fishermen released earlier by expediting the process, due to our good relations with India and desire to treat the Indian fishermen in a humane manner,” Kariyawasam told Express.

    Earlier in the day, the external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that the Indian consul general in Jaffna had gone to Mannar to meet the Indian fishermen in custody. “All are reportedly in good health,” he said. The Indian high commissioner Ashok Kantha had also taken up the matter in Colombo.

    According to Kariyawasam, the fishermen as well as five confiscated trawlers were caught three nautical miles off the Mannar coast, which was well inside Sri Lankan territorial waters.

    “This arrest was made due to the misbehaviour of one of the trawlers, which behaved threateningly to navy patrol boats,” said the Sri Lankan envoy.

    He added that usually Indian fishermen caught by the SL navy were released “in one or two days”, but the longer custody this time was due to the damage suffered by the Lankan naval vessel. “It was damaged when one of the trawlers hit the naval boat… we believe it was deliberate,” he said.

    The release of the fishermen could happen earlier, as the government planned to move a motion in the court, following which the SL navy would have to give its no-objection certificate. The envoy said there were plans for another meeting of fishermen’s associations from India and Sri Lanka, to find ways to stop the problem.

    Sri Lanka has complained that Indian trawlers – due to the depleted fish stocks in Indian waters – have been repeatedly poaching in Sri Lankan waters. Earlier, during the civil war, the fishing industry in northern SL was totally destroyed, but it has revived since 2008. “The complaints are coming from the Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen about Indian fishermen poaching in their waters,” said Kariyawasam.

    He noted that while Indian fishermen are released early, there were still Sri Lankan fishermen languishing in custody in India due to the slow legal process of various states. “In Orissa, there are nine Sri Lankan fishermen who have been in custody for three to four months,” said the ambassador”.

    We ask : What happened to the rest of the Indian Ocean, Palk Strs. etc. for Tamil Nadu fishermen to fish in ? Must they come to K’tivu ? The fact is that the rest of the Palk Strs. on the TN side has been scrapped bare on the sea bottom for conch shells and now it is so barren that there are no fish ! These TN fishermen will do the same damage to the seabed around the K’tivu island if they continue to fish there. This is one more mean act against Sri Lanka by TN fishermen & politicos. Who is approving this in TN / India ???

  2. AnuD Says:

    As General Fonseka said, KArunanidhi and Jayalalitha are clowns. There are fights are to show off one over the other. On the other hand, Jayalalitha allows TN fisher men to poach in SL waters and, in order to stop any interference by SLN,she always blame SLN for killing TN fishermen. It is simply a psychological game played against SLN.

  3. sumadha Says:

    Haaaa This MGR’s Mistress Jayal did she running a whore house or what ???? did she left her sari for every one in town,

  4. sumadha Says:

    what joke is this, Sri Lanka government to ease sorry no vacancies.

  5. sumadha Says:

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  7. Dham Says:

    We should open a company helping these people to get a good life. Including our Tamil Fishermen freinds from Nadu.
    make the boats safer using our Sinhala Navy’s ingenuity. Let them survive somehow until christmas island and beyond.
    Wish them all the best.

  8. lingamAndy Says:

    Ref:our Sinhala Navy’s ingenuity. Let them survive somehow until christmas island and beyond.
    ish them all the best.
    what a excellant idea than Chinhala people can have Dondra Head to the northernmost Point Pedro & can change Srilanka to Sinhala Lanka !!!
    We Tamil will very much appriciate you All forever !!!

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