AIADMK Coordinator and Former Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, O Panneerselvam has written to External Affairs Minister Dr.S. Jaishankar, seeking help over the release of Indian fishermen from Sri Lanka.
This is regarding 13 fishermen hailing from Tamil Nadu, who were captured and arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on 23rd March this year. According to Panneerselvam, the innocent fishermen were eking out their livelihood on the high seas.
“The Sri Lankan Court has fixed a fine of Rupees one crore each as a bail amount to release the poor fishermen of Tamil Nadu. The fishermen of Tamil Nadu venture out to sea for fishing only with the constant fear of being attacked by the Sri Lankan Navy. Fixing of Rupees one crore each as the bail amount to release the arrested fishermen is adding fuel to the fire,” read the letter.
Panneerselvam requested the immediate intervention of the External Affairs Minister, to secure the release of all the fishermen from Tamil Nadu and their fishing boats.
This comes at a time when the island nation is facing its worst-ever economic crisis since its independence. Amid the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, India has extended many a helping hand to the Indian ocean littoral state. On Tuesday (April 12), it was reported that the stock of 11,000 MT of rice from India reached Colombo.
This was announced ahead of the country’s New Year celebrations, which will be celebrated on April 14.
In addition to a $1 billion line of credit, India provided food medicines and other essential commodities to the Government of Sri Lanka.
India has also extended a $500 million credit line to purchase fuel, besides 2,70,000 MT of petrol, diesel has already arrived in Sri Lanka.
(Rs.1 crore = $1,31,265 approx)