Rameswaram fishermen launch indefinite strike

Rameswaram fishermen launch indefinite strike

March 23, 2015   02:58 pm

Fishermen in Rameswaram launched an indefinite strike on Monday demanding the release of 54 fishers who were apprehended by the Sri Lankan navy on Saturday night.

More than 700 boats that operate from Rameswaram fishing jetty didn’t go for fishing on Monday morning. The strike will affect 5,000 fishermen and their families.

Meanwhile, a five-member team of fishermen leaders from Rameswaram reached Chennai on Monday morning along with their counterparts from Pudukottai and Nagapattinam districts.

A team from Sri Lanka also arrived in Chennai for the talks.

B Jesuraja, district secretary of the Tamil Nadu Mechanised Boat Fishermen Association who is part of the delegation from Rameswaram, said: “As talks will start soon, we appeal to Sri Lanka to release our fishermen and their 10 boats.”

The fishermen leaders are also meeting state fisheries minister and officials ahead of the talks.

As in the last meeting, they will point out to their Sri Lankan counterparts that they can’t stop trawling all on a sudden because there is no running grounds for all fishing boats in Rameswaram to use conventional nets.

“Trawl nets are not banned in our country and it is policy decision of our government to ban it. All we are looking at is to carry out fishing in our traditional fishing waters without affecting each other’s livelihood,” Jesuraja said.

However, Sri Lankan fishermen are determined not to allow trawling in their waters at any cost on the ground that it destroys their marine wealth. Moreover, trawling is banned in the Island nation.

The talks on Tuesday will reveal if fishermen of both countries could find a solution to this burning issue. - TOI


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