Chennai: Taking a serious view of the attack and firing on fishermen allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today said these incidents were aimed at intimidating and browbeating India from raising the Tamil issue at the international fora.

The incidents of arrests of fishermen and the recent firing should be viewed as an “indirect attempt to intimidate India and browbeat it into not raising its voice” against Sri Lanka on the innocent Tamils there in the international fora which is highly unacceptable, she said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“The government of India should not be a silent spectator,” she said, referring to today’s firing by Lankan naval personnel on the fishermen of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and the arrest of 16 fishermen from Tuticorin last Sunday.

Jayalalithaa said Colombo should be advised to desist from using force against innocent Indian fishermen who have been fishing in their traditional fishing areas for centuries.

Alleging that the Lankan navy has again started committing atrocities against innocent fishermen, she said the latest incident of firing “clearly indicates that the Lankan navy wants to create an atmosphere of panic, fear and tension” amid Tamil Nadu’s fishermen who seek to eke out their livelihood peacefully.

A 40-year-old fisherman from Karaikal in Puducherry was today injured when Lankan naval personnel allegedly fired at some fishing boats off Kodiakarai coast, about 200 km from Rameswaram.

Jayalalithaa had earlier written to Singh seeking his intervention for the early release of 16 fishermen of Tuticorin who were arrested by Lankan Navy. They are now in judicial custody in Sri Lanka.

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