PM to raise fishermen's issue with Lankan Prez

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Chennai, Jul 21 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured a delegation of Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu that he would raise the issue of frequent attacks on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy with Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse during the SAARC Summit to be held in Colombo.

The Prime Minister told the delegation, which met him at his residence in New Delhi last evening, that he would talk to Mr Rajapakse and ensure that there was no threat to Indian fishermen from the Lankan Navy while fishing in high seas.

Dr Singh also assured that he would take steps to protect the livelihood of the Indian fishermen, TNCC president K V Thangkabalu, who led the delegation, said in a statement today.

Union Ministers G K Vasan, Manishankar Aiyar and E V K S Elangovan and MPs Prabhu, Jayanthi Natrajan, Dhanushkodi Athithan, J M Haroon, S K Karvendhan, N S V Chithan, B S Gnandesikan were among those who accompanied Mr Thangkabalu during the meeting.

The Congress MPs also submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister, urging him to save the lives of Tamil fishermen, who were facing ''unprovoked attacks'' from the Lankan Navy, to which Dr Singh said he would raise the issue during the ensuing SAARC Summit.

Later, the Prime Minister congratulated Mr Thangkabalu on being elected as the TNCC president.

UNI GV LPB HT1505

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