Revive India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group, secure release of fishermen: TN CM Stalin urges Centre

The alarming frequency of such incidents and the consequent disruption of livelihoods have caused considerable angst and despair among the coastal communities in the state, Stalin said in the letter.

ByPTI

Published Mar 16, 2024 | 1:56 PMUpdatedMar 16, 2024 | 1:56 PM

MK Stalin addressing the gathering. (Screengrab)

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Friday, 15 March, urged the Centre to take proactive steps to revive the India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group to secure the early release of Indian fishermen and their boats in the custody of the island nation’s authorities.

Stressing the urgent need to resolve the “festering issue” through diplomatic channels, the chief minister said he has repeatedly flagged instances in which Indian fishermen were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy.

“Last week, I sought your intervention for the immediate release of 22 fishermen and their boats. Yet again, it is reported today that 15 fishermen including three from Tamil Nadu have been arrested and their boat seized by the Sri Lankan Navy,” Stalin said in a letter addressed to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

The alarming frequency of such incidents and the consequent disruption of livelihoods have caused considerable angst and despair among the coastal communities in the state, Stalin said in the letter, a copy of which was made available to the media.

“It is extremely important to resolve this festering issue through diplomatic channels. Therefore, I urge you to take proactive steps to revive the Joint Working Group and also to prevail upon the Sri Lankan authorities to release the boats of the fishermen and the men in custody,” he said.

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