In a resolute display of solidarity, DMK cadre from Ramanathapuram district, accompanied by scores of fishermen, convened in Rameswaram to protest the recurring arrests and seizure of boats by the Sri Lankan Navy. The demonstration, led by R.S. Bharathi, DMK organizing secretary, underscored the party’s condemnation of the unjust treatment meted out to Tamil Nadu fishermen.
Addressing the gathering, Bharathi lamented the broken promises of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had pledged to safeguard Tamil Nadu fishermen from arrests and attacks by the Sri Lankan Navy upon assuming power. However, the stark reality paints a grim picture, with over 3,000 Tamil Nadu fishermen falling prey to Sri Lankan arrests over the past decade.
“Modi’s indifference towards the plight of Tamil Nadu fishermen is evident in his silence amidst their frequent arrests,” remarked Bharathi, contrasting the Prime Minister’s apathy with his emotional responses to issues faced by other regions.
Bharathi also highlighted the contrasting approach of the previous UPA government, which ensured the release of fishing boats along with Tamil Nadu fishermen held in Sri Lankan custody. In contrast, the current administration in Sri Lanka has seized possession of these boats, exacerbating the livelihood challenges faced by Tamil Nadu fishermen.
Despite Chief Minister M.K. Stalin’s persistent efforts to secure the release of seized boats, Bharathi lamented the lack of significant action from the Union Government, which has largely disregarded the state’s appeals.
Furthermore, Bharathi lauded CM Stalin as ‘Meenavargalin Nanban’ (Friend of Fishermen), recalling the welfare measures promised during a fishermen’s conference held in Mandapam last August. These measures, amounting to Rs 1,000 crore, were pledged in recognition of the vital role played by the fishing community in the state’s economy.