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Home > News > PTI

SL to let Indian navy personnel board its ships

March 12, 2007 15:50 IST

The Sri Lankan government has agreed to let Indian naval personnel board their ships during patrolling in the Palk Straits, to prevent possible recurrence of attacks on Indian fishermen, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said in Chennai on Monday.

This was conveyed to a DMK delegation, which met the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner Hamsa in Chennai on Monday, he told reporters.

"If the Sri Lankan government approaches the Indian government and if both governments agree to the proposal, then security will also be provided for Indian fishermen," he said.

Hamsa told the delegation, led by state electricity minister N Veerasamy that the Prime Minister's Office had sought clarifications on the attacks by the Sri Lankan Navy on Indian fishermen.

The Sri Lankan officials had been told that the attacks were 'regretable and totally unacceptable', he said. The officials had told the PMO that the Sri Lankan government was prepared to allow Indian naval personnel board their ships during patrolling, Karunanidhi quoted the Deputy High Commissioner as saying. Earlier, DMK volunteers took out a rally in the city in protest against the Sri Lankan Navy firing on Indian fishermen. A delegation, comprising state ministers N Veerasamy, M K Stalin, Duraimurugan, Paruthi Ilamvazhuthy, Poongothai, M P Swaminathan and K P P Samy later presented a memorandum to Hamsa, protesting against the killing of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.

Hamsa promised to forward the memorandum to the Sri Lanka government, Veerasamy told reporters later.

On the demand of PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss that India retrieve Katchatheevu island, ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974, Karunanidhi said the problem was a long standing one.

"Charges have been levelled that the Sri Lankan navy is indulging in attacks on Indian fishermen only after the island was given to them," he said. He said Indian fishermen refuse to accept the Sri Lankan government's contention that the attacks were by the LTTE.

The DMK memorandum pointed out that three fishermen had been killed in February and seven grievously injured. The boats and the fishermen's catch were 'unlawfully' seized and a few of them 'illegally' arrested, it said.

Though Karunanidhi had brought these facts to the notice of the Centre through letters to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, the Sri Lankan Navy had not stopped their illegal activities, which were highly deplorable, the memorandum said.

It listed the incidents and said shooting at innocent fishermen with a view to killing them could never be tolerated in a civilised world. "The DMK feels that the action of the Sri Lankan navy is highly inhuman and uncivilised and a violation of human rights.

We propose to take these up at international fora through the Indian government. Let wisdom dawn on the Sri Lankan Navy and let them stop such killings and indiscriminate shootings forthwith', it said.



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