SL Navy rams and sinks TN fishing boat, 7 fishermen rescued

Chennai, Jan 20 (IANS) A Sri Lankan Naval boat rammed into Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu damaging the boat that developed cracks and sank. Seven fishermen, who were on-board the sinking boat were rescued by other fishermen.

The incident occurred on Wednesday late at night.

The All Mechanised Boat Fishermen’s association president, P. Sesuraja while speaking to mediapersons said, “450 boats from Rameswaram area ventured into the sea after 4 p.m. on Wednesday. While they were fishing near Katchatheevu, a Sri Lankan Naval boat reached the spot and rammed it into a fishing boat creating a crack in the boat, and ultimately it sank in the waters.

“It’s a huge loss but fortunately, the fishermen raised a distress alarm, and those fishing nearby rescued them. While no lives were lost, this is a continuing phenomenon and we are driven to the wall. The State and Central governments have to take a call soon and diplomatic pressure should be mounted up on the Lankans against such incidents. We will have no other way but to enter into blockades to bring this issue to the national notice.”

Sesuraja also said that the livelihood of the fishermen from Tamil Nadu has been badly hit as most of the fishermen are venturing to the sea from Rameswaram and Ramanathapuram areas only twice a week and this has affected the financial situation and the livelihood.

It is to be noted that several fishermen from Tamil Nadu were attacked by the Sri Lankan Navy and in 2021 alone five Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu lost their lives in the sea.

Around 55 Indian fishermen are still languishing in Sri Lankan jails after they were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on charges of crossing the International Marine Boundary Line (IMBL). While 68 were arrested in December 2021 in three separate incidents on alternate days, 13 were released on bail.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has already entered into diplomatic parleys with the Sri Lankan government, but the mounting issues created by the Sri Lankan Navy is making matters worse for the diplomats to solve the problem.

MP from Ramanathapuram constituency Nawas Kini has condemned the attack by the Sri Lankan Navy on the fishermen from Rameswaram.

The MP in a statement on Thursday said, “The inhumane attack by the Sri Lankan Navy against Tamil fishermen had been continuing. The Centre, which was giving economic assistance on humanitarian grounds to Sri Lanka, should advise the Government of the island nation to reciprocate the gesture in the same manner while dealing with fishermen from Tamil Nadu.”

Nawas Kini also called upon the Centre to register a strong protest before the Sri Lankan authorities against the recurring incidents of attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen.

–IANS

aal/dpb

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