India a mute spectator to fishermen's arrests: Jayalalithaa

Chennai, Aug 29 (IANS) Noting that India "remains a mute spectator", Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to immediately and effectively intervene to secure the release of Indian fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy.

"May I request your immediate and effective personal intervention in this matter which has been a severe source of aggravation in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu for many months now?," Jayalalithaa said in a letter to Singh Wednesday, text of which was released to the media here Thursday.

Jayalalithaa was referring to the arrest of 35 Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy Aug 26.

Referring to reports, Jayalalithaa said the 35 fishermen have been apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy and taken to Kalpitiya police station there for further action.

"I write with a deep sense of anguish and agony because, despite my repeated letters dated 8.7.2013, 1.8.2013, 2.8.2013 and 6.8.2013, seeking to impress on you the imperative need to ensure the early release of the poor, innocent Indian fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu, the government of India remains a mute spectator," Jayalalithaa told Singh.

She wondered whether the Indian government is taking the issue seriously "as it ought to be" and its muted response to the problem has "emboldened the Sri Lankan Navy to repeatedly arrest our fishermen and their aggressive actions are worsening day by day".

"I yet again exhort you to take immediate action through diplomatic channels to secure the release of all the Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu who are in Sri Lankan custody along with their boats and arrange for their immediate repatriation," Jayalalithaa said.

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