Sri Lanka apprehends 23 Indian fishermen, Stalin writes to Centre

Chennai: As many as 23 Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested by Sri Lanka on Monday, Chief Minister M K Stalin apprised the Centre and sought action to secure the release of fishers and their boats from the neighbouring country.

Writing to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Stalin said that 23 fishermen and their five fishing boats were taken into custody by the Sri Lankan Navy on November 28.

“In this year alone, 221 Tamil Nadu fishermen were apprehended by Sri Lankan Navy. The repeated instances of arrests by the Sri Lankan navy are causing severe stress and anguish among the fishermen community in Tamil Nadu who are solely dependant on fishing. The fragile coastal economy is facing a crisis and it needs our support.”

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As of now, 105 fishing boats of Tamil Nadu are under Sri Lankan custody. The fishermen, apprehended in previous instances, were released by Lanka due to continuous efforts of the government, Stalin said.

However, their fishing boats still remained under Sri Lankan custody. “I therefore request you to take necessary diplomatic initiatives to restrain the Sri Lankan Navy from apprehending our fishermen and also enable the early release of all the fishermen and their fishing boats now under Sri Lankan custody,” the Chief Minister urged the External Affairs Minister.

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