The Tamil Nadu government is committed to continuing the talks between representatives of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan fishermen to resolve their issues. However, the second round of talks held in Colombo made no progress because of the premeditated stance of the Sri Lankan officials, Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister K.A. Jayapal said, according to The Hindu newspaper.
Stressing that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa was taking the lead in protecting the rights of fishermen, writing repeatedly to the Prime Minister and following it up with ground-level actions, Jayapal said a permanent solution to the problem lay in retrieval of Katchatheevu, as affirmed by Ms. Jayalalithaa.
Meanwhile over 10,000 coastal fishermen in Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram districts began an indefinite strike on Friday, demanding the release of all the 43 fishermen languishing in Sri Lanka prisons, and their mechanised boats.
The fishermen stayed away from routine operations, their representatives told The Hindu . “We will continue the strike till the Central and State governments intervene and find an early solution,” said N. Kuttiandi, president of the Jegadapattinam Mechanised Boat Owners Association.
Both Jegadapattinam and Kottaipattinam coastal tracts in Pudukottai district were known for yielding large-sized crabs which are exported. The strike could thus hit exports, the sources said.
In Rameswaram, a 4000-strong contingent of fishermen struck work, angered at their fishing season which began only recently, getting sullied by the actions of the Sri Lankan Navy who frequently arrested the fisherfolk on charges of straying into their waters.