Nedumaran appeals political parties to support fishermen stir

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Chennai, Jan 27 (UNI) The Eelam Tamils Solidarity Coordination Committee today appealed to all political parties to get ready for an agitation to express solidarity with the striking fishermen, who have launched an indefinite fast in Rameswaram condemning installation of the Under Water Defence System (UWDS) containing mines off Katchatheevu in the high seas by the Lankan Navy.

In a statement here committee convener and Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P Nedumaran said fishermen were subjected to attacks by the Lankan Navy for the last two decades.

''So far 300 Indian fishermen were killed by the Lankan Navy and frequently fishermen were also detained by them,'' he said, and alleged that the Indian Navy had failed in its duty to protect the Indian fishermen.

Stating that all the political parties had the bounden duty to express their support to the fishermen, he said if the demands of the fishermen were not met, the political parties should be prepared for a joint agitation along with the fishermen.

Meanwhile, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) president Thol Thirumavalavan, also a staunch supporter of Eelam Tamils, urged the Centre to take steps to remove the UWDS.

Installation of such a system was aimed at scuttling Indian fishermen from fishing and derailing the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP).

''It is a conspiracy against the SSCP,'' Mr Thirumavalavan said, and urged the Centre to take steps on war footing to remove the defence systems installed between Katchatheevu and Neduntheevu on the high seas.

MDMK general secretary, also a supporter of Eelam Tamils, had already condemned the installation of the defence system and had urged the Centre to nullify the Katchatheevu agreement if the Lankan Government did not remove the defence systems.

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