Chennai: Rejecting as wrong the charge that the Congress-led UPA Government was keeping silence despite repeated attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy, Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan today said India was taking “strong” action against the island nation.
Appealing that the issue should not be “politicised”, she said the government had been taking various steps and even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had in the past deputed his representative to hold talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse.
Replying to a question, she said it was ‘wrong opinion’ that the Centre did not act against Sri Lanka on the issue.
“We are taking strong action on the issue and will continue to do so,” she told reporters here on the sidelines of a seminar organised by National Bio-Diversity Authority.
“As a citizen of India and Tamil Nadu and as a UPA Minister I strongly condemn the attacks…It is not a State issue. It is a national issue”.
Expressing concern over the arrest of 53 fishermen from the state by Sri Lankan Navy, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had yesterday written to Singh seeking his intervention to secure their release. She also demanded that the Centre summon Sri Lankan envoy in Delhi and lodge a protest.
Asked whether India would support the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, she said, “first, let it be tabled. We have strongly condemned the Sri Lanka’s action last year. We have supported the American resolution that was adopted. That shows our intention”.