While giving her nod for the second round of talks between fishermen from Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka on March 13 in Colombo, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday demanded the release of 121 Tamil fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy before the talks.
All of them were arrested after the first round of talks that were held in Chennai on January 27.
A State government press release said a letter had been sent to the Joint Secretary for External Affairs for making arrangements for talks.
“The state government has also made it clear that all the 121 fishermen and their boats should be released before the talks,” the press release added. The agenda of the first round of talks would form the basis for the talks in Colombo.
The five-point agenda includes reiteration of traditional fishing rights for Tamil fishermen along the artificial maritime boundary in the Palk Straits with mutual consent of both sides, release of all Tamil fishermen and their boats arrested and seized by the Sri Lankan Navy, adoption of fishing methods acceptable to both sides in Palk Straits and exchange of information during emergency situation.
The agenda also urged the Sri Lankan Navy to give up its attack on Tamil fishermen and seizure of their boats and fishing equipments.
The state government had made it clear that the talks between the fishermen would be held without prejudice to the petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government in the Supreme Court on Katchatheevu.
“The resolution adopted in the meeting will be implemented only after the approval of the state government.”
The 13 fishermen representatives from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, who participated in the meeting in Chennai would also participated in the discussions in Sri Lanka. (The Hindu)