Ensure legal support for 11 fishermen in Jaffna prison

Chennai, Apr 15 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin today urged External Affairs Minister Dr.S.Jaishankar to ensure legal support and assistance to 11 poor fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Navy and were asked to pay Rs two crore Lankan Rupees for their release by a court there. In a Demi-Official letter to Dr Jaishankar, he said the 12 fishermen, who were apprehended on March 23 and the Killinochchi court which tried the case has adjourned the case to May 12 with the instructions that they could be released on bail on a personal bond of LKR two crore per person. “As this is a prohibitive amount, the fishermen can never furnish the same. They are presently lodged in the Jaffna prison”, the Chief Minister said and sought his urgent intervention in this regard. Stalin also requested Dr Jaishankar to ensure all legal support and assistance to the poor fishermen for enabling their early release. The Chief Minister said during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 31 he had said that the Tamil Nadu Government is willing to provide essential commodities and life-saving medicines to the Sri Lankan Tamils who are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis in Sri Lanka. “During our recent telephonic conversation on April 7, I had also brought to your notice that the State has been receiving Sri Lankan Tamils who are forced to leave their country amid the escalating economic crisis that is turning into a humanitarian crisis”, he added. It was informed then that such measures can be considered after due consultation with the Indian Mission in Sri Lanka. It has now been reported that the on Government has enabled the shipping of food and other essential commodities to Sri Lanka. “At this juncture, I would like to reiterate the commitment of my Government to ship the essential supplies including food grain, vegetables and medicines etc., from Thoothukudi port to the Sri Lankan Tamils living in Northern and Eastern Parts of Sri Lanka and Colombo, as well as those working in the plantations who are reeling under severe food crisis.”, Stalin said. “I request that this may be facilitated at the earliest in view of the worsening situation in Sri Lanka”, the Chief Minister said. GV 1720

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