The Weekend Leader - Fishermen in Tamil Nadu Demand Release of Seized Boats by Sri Lankan Navy

Fishermen in Tamil Nadu Demand Release of Seized Boats by Sri Lankan Navy



Photo: IANS

Fishermen in the state have upped their ante against the state and central governments not intervening in releasing their boats seized by the Sri Lankan navy.

The fishermen have stated that since 2018, 109 fishing boats were impounded by the Sri Lankan authorities along with the fishermen on various charges including that they have crossed International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).

The fishermen were arrested and jailed and their boats, fishing nets and their catch were seized. While the arrested fishermen were released after 15 days of judicial custody, the boats, nets and catch were never returned.

The fishermen under the network of 'Anaithu Meenavar Kootamaippu' (All Fishermen Union Federation) held a one-day protest and called upon the state and central governments to immediately intervene and to provide compensation for them as they were not in a position to go to sea for fishing. This is due to the fact that the boats are impounded in Sri Lanka.

The fishermen association leaders have met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin, and appraised him to intervene with the Union government for the release of these boats. The leaders have also sought an appointment with the External Affairs Minister (EAM), S. Jaishankar to seek his intervention with the Sri Lankan government on a government-to-government interaction.

The fishermen are also worried as many have had no jobs for the past several months as they don't have boats to move to the deep sea for fishing. The families are expecting immediate intervention from the state and central governments to release their boats. - IANS

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