Stalin wants talks between India and Sri Lanka on attacks on Tamil fishermen: Minister

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Chennai, July 1 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Minister for Fisheries and Animal Husbandry, Anitha R. Radhakrishnan, said on Thursday that Chief Minister M.K. Stalin is of the view that talks between India and Sri Lanka are necessary to have a permanent solution to the attacks on Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.

“Whenever such attacks take place, the Chief Minister immediately contacts the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister. The Chief Minister is of the opinion that both countries should conduct high-level talks regarding this and find a permanent solution to this issue, which will happen soon,” Radhakrishnan told mediapersons.

Fishermen association leader Jesu Raja said, “Talks are necessary and important, as the Sri Lankan Navy behaves very rudely with our fishermen when they accidentally cross into the Sri Lankan waters. Talks are important for a permanent solution to this problem.”

Radhakrishnan also said that all efforts are being made to improve the ranking of Tamil Nadu to retain back its position as the number one exporter of fish in the country, adding that the state has now slipped to the fifth position.

He said that export of freshwater fish would be promoted to get foreign currency like Andhra Pradesh which is exporting freshwater fish in huge numbers.

Asked about the government fixing prices for fish as demand by some fishermen’s bodies, the minister said, “We have to make a decision taking into consideration all the factors related to this. We will have discussions with the concerned people and officials and then see what could be done.”

Radhakrishnan was inspecting the progress of work at the Advanced Institute for Integrated Research on Livestock and Animal Sciences in Thalivasal.

The institute has been set up at over an area spanning 1,022 acres and will have advanced facilities for research and veterinary sciences. The centre will also have a livestock farm and will provide self-employment support to the farmers, the minister said.

Radhakrishnan said that the veterinary college at the centre is currently teaching 40 students and the strength would be increased to 80 in the near future.

He also said that foreign students will be admitted to the veterinary college and the institute will be uplifted to international standards.

–IANS
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