Use diplomatic channels to free Indian fishermen: Jayalalithaa

Chennai, Jan 7 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to use diplomatic channels to secure the release of 275 Indian fishermen languishing in Sri Lankan jails.

She also urged the prime minister to take concrete action for the release of 84 fishing boats in Sri Lanka’s custody.
“May I once again urge your immediate personal intervention and exhort you to use the diplomatic channels of the Government of India in a concrete and decisive manner with the Sri Lankan authorities to secure the immediate release of 250 fishermen who are already languishing in Sri Lankan Jails in addition to the 25 fishermen who were apprehended Jan 2 and the 84 fishing boats in Sri Lankan custody at the earliest,” Jayalalithaa wrote in a letter to the prime minister Jan 6 which was released to the media Tuesday.
Jayalalithaa said the repressive Sri Lanka Navy is establishing its authoritarian presence in the Palk Bay by chasing and arresting unarmed innocent fishermen from Tamil Nadu who offer no provocation.
“The Indian Government has been a mute spectator all along and not at all willing to understand the sufferings of its own fishermen and their families and intervene effectively,” she added.