Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that attacks on Indian fishermen were not being treated as a national issue.
In a letter to Singh, the text of which was released to the media in Chennai, Jayalalithaa referred to the attacks on Indian fishermen by some Sri Lankan miscreants. She said: "I am also deeply pained to point out that the issue of attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen is not being treated as a national issue. No serious action is initiated whenever such attacks occur."
Referring to the decision taken at the 4th Joint Working Group Meeting held at Colombo that highest priority is to be accorded to the well being, safety and security of fishermen by both the countries and force would not be used, Jayalalithaa said: "The assurances given remain only on paper and are not being honoured by the Sri Lankan Government."
"The recent incidents of attack prove that all discussions aimed at ensuring the safety of our fishermen while fishing is an exercise in futility," she said.
She reiterated that her government's policy is to restore the fishing rights of Indian fishermen in their traditional fishing areas in the Palk Bay waters where they have been traditionally fishing from times immemorial.
Jayalaltihaa requested Singh "to kindly take up the issue with the Sri Lankan Government and its President urgently, and ensure that no such brutal incidents occur in mid-sea again."