As inter-ministerial talks began in Colombo on the contentious fishermen’s issue, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to denounce the remarks of a Sri Lankan Minister on impounded Indian boats, which may vitiate the atmosphere of the parleys.
In his letter, Panneerselvam said, “I write with a sense of deep anguish at the very unfortunate and needlessly provocative remarks of the Sri Lankan Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, Mahinda Amaraweera,”
He said the remarks were reported in a section of the media, indicating that the fishing boats and gear of Indian fishermen of Tamil Nadu which are in the custody of the Sri Lankan authorities, would be taken over and made the property of the Government of Sri Lanka.
“Such unfortunate and provocative statements are clearly veiled threats to intimidate our fishermen from exercising their traditional fishing rights in the Palk Bay which they have done for centuries,” he said adding “The statements appear to mock the diplomatic efforts being undertaken by the Government of India to sort out the sensitive issue.”
You may also like to watch
The Chief Minister strongly urged the Centre to register its disapproval of such remarks in the strongest possible terms at the appropriate level.
“Such statements just before the Inter Ministerial level talks of the two countries will certainly vitiate the atmosphere before the talks,” Panneerselvam said.
He also sought the release of impounded boats, fishing gear and 51 Indian fishermen in the the island nation’s custody.