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Make Tamil and Lankan fishermen talk, Jaya tells PM

Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to facilitate a dialogue between fishermen associations in the state and Sri Lanka here in December following frequent attacks and arrests of fishermen by naval personnel of the island nation. 

‘I am writing to you in the context of a proposal to facilitate a dialogue between fishermen associations in Tamil Nadu and their counterparts in Sri Lanka with a view to discuss ways and means to avoid instances of attacks on and arrests of fishermen, particularly from Tamil Nadu’, she said in a letter to Singh. She said the associations have represented to government to facilitate such talks and requested her to fix the venue and time for it, following which she proposed arrangements may be made to have the next round of talks here in December.

‘Even as I am writing this letter to you, information has reached me that the Sri Lankan Navy has on 19 September, apprehended 19 fishermen from Tamil Nadu along with five mechanised boats’, she said. She added:‘They (Lankan navy) have taken an inexplicably tolerant stand of the excesses of the Sri Lankan Navy against Indian fishermen.’
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