MDMK chief Vaiko on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use diplomatic channels to ensure the Sri Lankan government does not add tough penal provisions to a 1979 law that could affect the lives of Tamil fishermen crossing maritime borders. In a meeting with Modi, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (MDMK) chief informed him how the amendment to the law – that regulates foreign fishing boats in Sri Lankan waters – could affect the lives of Tamil fishermen from India.
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“Lives of fishermen would be destroyed if the Sri Lankan legislation is enacted. They will have to pay fines up to Rs 7 crore when they are struggling to pay back existing debt,” Vaiko told reporters here. He apprised the prime minister about the unrest among fishermen in Rameshwaram and their plans to hold a protest demanding the Centre to act against the Sri Lankan move. Apart from discussing these issues, Vaiko also sought Rs 10,000 crore for the cyclone-hit coastal areas of Tamil Nadu. “Chief Minister O Paneerselvam has sought Rs 1,000 crore in the first round. The state will need around Rs 10,000 crore from Disaster Management Fund because of the severity of the damage,” he said.
Vaiko requested Modi to remove “bulls” from the list of animals that shall not be exhibited or trained as performing animal so as to win the Supreme Court ruling. “Jallikattu does not harm animals, but whereas in Spain Catalonian Bulls are harmed. Despite the harm the ruling was overturned in Spain,” he said.
Speaking about the demonetisation, Vaiko said, “I am a student of economics and that is why I am saying it is the right initiative to curb black money. Poor people welcome the initiative. Difficulty would be there for just a month or two.”