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Ask Lanka not to attack our fishermen: Karunanidhi to PM

Last updated on: January 31, 2011 15:34 IST

Against the backdrop of frequent attacks against Indian fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Monday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to advise Colombo in 'strong terms' to refrain from such 'uncalled for attacks'.

Karunanidhi, who arrived in Delhi on a three-day visit on Sunday, met Dr Singh at his 7, Race Course Road residence and took up the issue of recent 'brutal attacks' by the Sri Lankan Navy on fishermen from Tamil Nadu.

He also told the prime minister that the presence of Navy and Coast Guard along the International Maritime border between India and Sri Lanka should be strengthened to avoid the recurrence of such incidents.

"During the meeting with the prime minister, the chief minister raised the need to advise the Sri Lankan government in strong terms to refrain from such uncalled for attacks," an official statement from the chief minister's office said.

Sharing the concerns of the Tamil Nadu government on the issue, Dr Singh said he has directed External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to depute a high-level delegation to Sri Lanka to "personally convey our serious concern" to the Sri Lankan government.

"Accordingly, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao is in Colombo today," the release said.

Dr Singh also assured Karunanidhi that he would speak to Defence Minister A K Antony on the issue of strengthening the Navy and Coast Guard along the Indo-Sri Lanka maritime border.

The meeting between Dr Singh and Karunanidhi comes against the backdrop of two fishermen from Tamil Nadu being killed, allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy, after they inadvertently crossed into the Sri Lankan waters.

Opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has been accusing the Centre and state governments of failing to send a stern warning to Colombo.

During his meeting with the prime minister, Karunanidhi also expressed 'deep concern' over media reports that the environment ministry has appointed a technical committee to study the ecological impact of the proposed dam to be built by the Kerala government in Mullaperiyar.

"As the issue is before the Supreme Court, the constitution of this committee is unwarranted," Karunanidhi told Dr Singh, who promised to look into the matter.

The chief minister also requested the prime minister to approve the proposed Metro rail project up to Thiruvotriyur and Wimco Nagar on the outskirts of Chennai.

"The chief minister requested the prime minister that the Centre's share in the project be granted expeditiously," the release said, adding that Dr Singh indicated that all efforts would be made for early clearance of the extension of the project.

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