Following the arrest of nine Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy on 30th January, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalithaa has written to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi again urging him to personally intervene to get the fishermen and boats released from Sri Lankan custody.
She noted that based on her repeated requests and the Indian Government' efforts, all the Indian fishermen who were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy during 2015 have been released, but their boats and fishing gear, which are essential to earn their livelihood, have not yet been released.
The Sri Lankan government, as a goodwill gesture, in view of the Thai Pongal holiday last month, released all 102 fishermen arrested by the Navy for poaching in the island's waters.
The Chief Minister, who refuses to accept the International Maritime Boundary Line between the two countries, reiterated her request to the Government of India to not treat the International Maritime Boundary Line with Sri Lanka as a settled question, since she has challenged the constitutionality of the agreements that ceded the islet of Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka and established the IMBL.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister urged the Prime Minister to direct the Ministry of External Affairs to take up the matter with the Sri Lankan authorities urgently and secure the immediate release of 15 Tamil fishermen and 69 fishing boats in Sri Lankan custody.