The DMK on Wednesday wrote to the External Affairs Minister, saying the killing of an Indian fisherman allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy violated agreements arrived at the tripartite talks and has led to the feeling of “displeasure” against the Centre. Terming the March 6 firing as “a grave human rights violation and absolutely unlawful”, DMK Working President M K Stalin urged External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to intervene in the matter and end such incidents.
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“The brutal killing of Indian fisherman K Britjo by the Sri Lankan Navy is in total violation of the agreements arrived at the tripartite talks so far held with the fishermen of both countries,” he said in a letter to her.
Talks between fishermen of the two countries in Delhi in November 2016, in which officials of both the nations also took part, had ended in a stalemate.
“There is a strong feeling of displeasure that the central government is not forthcoming to protect the lives of Indian fishermen despite a series of talks,” he said.
He said the killing has sent “shock waves and an uncontrollable anger is sweeping the state. It is a blatant violation of agreements reached after international talks in your presence”.
He regretted that Sri Lanka was in denial mode on this “cold-blooded murder and even refuses to take responsibility”.
“Though Sri Lanka agreed in principle not to harm the Indian fishermen, it has shown scant respect to its own commitment solemnly made to India, Stalin said.
Sri Lanka, which had so far arrested and seized boats of fishermen, now had done the “extreme and illegal act of killing our fisherman and grievously injuring others”, which was “unprovoked and unjustifiable firing”, he said.
Stalin said the fishing rights of Indian fishermen cannot be threatened at gun point by Sri Lankan Navy and added that the Coast Guard had a moral duty to ensure their safety.
Seeking her intervention, he said the Sri Lankan envoy should be summoned and the island nation should be told that killing of fishermen will not be tolerated. Batting for steps to retrieve Katchatheevu islet, ceded to the island nation by India in the 1970s, he said it was the only solution for the problems of fishermen.