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Stalin writes to Jaishankar, flags 'disturbing trend' of arrest of Indian fishermen

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Chennai, Jan 24 (PTI) Expressing concern over the "disturbing trend" of arrest of Indian fishermen from his state, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday urged the Centre to revive a joint working group as there was a "pressing need" for dipomatic efforts to address the situation.

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In a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, released by the state government here today, the CM flagged the latest arrest of 6 fishermen from Ramanathapuram district in the state by Sri Lankan Navy along with 2 fishing boats. The fishermen were arrested on January 22.

"In recent times, there has been a disturbing trend of arrests involving Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan authorities, creating an alarming situation that demands immediate attention. These arrests not only undermine the traditional fishing rights of the Tamil community but also contribute to a climate of fear and uncertainty among the fishing population," he said.

Such arrests jeopardise these rights, threatening the cultural and economic fabric of the Tamil fishing communities, the CM said.

"In light of these concerns, there is a pressing need for diplomatic efforts to address the situation. A revival of the Joint Working Group between India and Sri Lanka focused on fisheries-related issues, could provide a constructive platform for dialogue." "I request you to take the necessary steps through appropriate diplomatic channels to convene the Joint Working Group to sort out the long pending issues between the Indian fishermen and the Sri Lankan Navy so that the arrests of innocent fishermen are avoided," Stalin added. PTI SA SA ROH

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