Vaiko flays Naval officer's remarks

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Chennai, Dec 9 (UNI) MDMK General Secretary Vaiko today charged that the remark of naval officer in-charge of Tamil Nadu Commodore P E Van Halteren that Sri Lankan Navy had never deliberately fired at Indian fishermen in Palk Straits was ''unwarranted and unjustified''.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, copy of which was released to the media here, he flayed the Naval officer's statement that Indian fishermen fell prey to the crossfire between the Lankan Navy and LTTE in the international waters.

Mr Vaiko claimed that since the 1970s, over 900 fishermen were killed and their boats and fishing nets destroyed by the Lankan Navy.

He also accused naval officer Van Halteren of defending and supporting the Lankan Navy.

Though the Indian government had admitted in Parliament that Tamil fishermen were killed by the Lankan Navy, ''I am pained to point out that there is a nefarious nexus between Lankan and Indian navies,'' he said.

Moreover, it was a proven fact that the Lankan Navy had entered into Indian waters and attacked Tamil fishermen many times, he alleged.

He also charged that the Indian Navy had never made an attempt to protect Tamil Nadu fishermen from the attacks by the Lankan Navy.

In the letter, Mr Vaiko requested the Prime Minister to stop forthwith the supply of arms to Sri Lanka and give instructions to the naval officers not to pursue their 'nefarious game'.

UNI

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