In letter to Indian EAM Jaishankar, TN govt reiterates commitment to send essentials to Lankan Tamils

Written By: Sidharth MP WION
Chennai Updated: Apr 15, 2022, 06:40 PM(IST)

Tamil Nadu govt is committed to send essentials to needy Tamils in Sri Lanka, Chief Minister MK Stalin has told Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar (file photo). Photograph:( WION Web Team )

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Based on reports of the Indian government shipping food and other essentials to the island nation, Stalin reaffirmed Tamil Nadu government's commitment of shipping foodgrains, vegetables and medicines to the Lankan Tamils living in the North and east of the island, Colombo and plantation regions

In a letter to Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin reiterated the commitment to send essential supplies to Tamils living in crisis-stricken Sri Lanka.

According to Stalin, he had mentioned this during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 31 and also spoke about the exodus of Lankan Tamils to Tamil Nadu, in a phone conversation with Dr S Jaishankar on April 7.

Thus far, 39 Lankan Tamils including women, elderly and young children have taken the arduous boat ride across the Palk Strait, a narrow strip of sea that connects India and Sri Lanka.    

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In the phone call with Dr Jaishankar, Stalin said that he was informed about such measures (relief material from Tamil Nadu being sent) after due consultation with the Indian Mission in Sri Lanka.

Based on reports of the Indian government shipping food and other essentials to the island nation, Stalin reaffirmed Tamil Nadu government's commitment of shipping foodgrains, vegetables and medicines to the Lankan Tamils living in the North and east of the island, Colombo and plantation regions.    

He also requested that this be facilitated at the earliest, given the worsening situation in Sri Lanka. Stalin also made a mention of the 12 Indian fishermen, who were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy on March 23.

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He pointed out the Sri Lankan court having adjourned the case hearing to May 12, with the instruction that they could be released on a personal bond of Rs 20 million Lankan rupees. He said that the fishermen would not be able to furnish the same and that they were lodged in Jaffna prison. Stalin requested Dr Jaishankar to intervene in the matter, provide legal support to enable their early release.    

Earlier this week, AIADMK coordinator and former deputy chief minister of Tamil Nadu, O Panneerselvam had written to External Dr S Jaishankar, seeking help over the release of Indian fishermen from Sri Lanka.

According to Panneerselvam, the 13 innocent fishermen were eking out their livelihood on the high seas, when they were captured and arrested by the Lankan Navy. 

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