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India assures fishermen on Lanka

2013 Sep 30

Fishermen from Karaikal and Nagapattinam met India’s Union Minister of State for the Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanasamy yesterday (Sunday) to discuss the release of their boats and the remaining fishermen from Sri Lanka, The Hindu newspaper reported today.

Narayanasamy assured them that the Centre would take all steps necessary to release the fishermen and also secure their boats. He also urged the fishermen to come to New Delhi to discuss the issue. Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid would be visiting Sri Lanka soon.

Both Khurshid and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be back in New Delhi in a couple of days, after which a delegation of fishermen could come and meet them, he said.

“Each boat costs at least Rs. 50 lakh, and without our boats, we have no livelihood. Unless the government recovers our boats, we have no way to support our families. Around 10 to 20 families rely on the income from one single boat,” one of the fishermen said.

The fishermen groups had earlier met Union Minister of Shipping G.K. Vasan and other politicians in Chennai.

They were also looking for an appointment with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, the fishermen said.

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