(CHENNAI, LANKAPUVATH) – The rehabilitation woes of fishermen, jailed in Sri Lanka, are expected to be addressed soon with the Madras High Court directing the Centre and Tamil Nadu to consider implementing the welfare schemes, The Times of India reported.
“The Central and State Governments are directed to look into the grievances of the welfare schemes, if already not looked into,” said the First Bench of Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh and Justice M. Sundar disposing a plea seeking financial and infrastructural support for displaced fisherfolk.
Peter Rayan of Fishermen Care had moved the Court seeking “Diplomatic steps to release Tamil Nadu fishermen” languishing in Sri Lankan prisons, and a direction to the Centre to take up the issue with the Sri Lankan Government diplomatically.
According to Coast Guard reports, 111 fisherman were killed, 16 missing and 439 injured due to attacks by the Sri Lankan Navy between January 1983 and November 2013, he said. In the absence of any “Concrete solution” the Centre and the State could formulate welfare schemes, he said.
Seeking directions to the Centre on “Taking back” Katchatheevu Island, which he said was ceded to Sri Lanka through agreements in 1974 and 1976, Mr. Rayan said the agreements provided for fishing rights for Indian fishermen. The Centre then filed a counter affidavit saying the 1974 agreement demarcated the boundary between the two countries from Palk Strait to Adam’s Bridge and clarified certain issues handed down unresolved and undetermined from the colonial period.
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