Sixty five Indian fishermen detained by the Sri Lankan Navy; Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi react strongly to these arrests; Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Islamabad met Pakistan's Federal Minister for Defence Production
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  • Reports noted that sixty-five Indian fishermen in nine trawlers have been detained by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly violating the international maritime border. Naval spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya has said that thirty four of them in five trawlers were arrested off the coast north of Point Pedro in the north, while another thirty one were arrested east of Mullaithivu along with four vessels. 1

    Meanwhile, according to reports, upset over the frequent incidents of abduction and arrest of fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan navy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on August 2, urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to summon the high commissioner of Sri Lanka in New Delhi and convey India's strong protest. In her second letter to the Prime Minister in 24 hours, Jayalalithaa sought the Prime Minister's intervention in the incidents of 'unprovoked' assault on Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy. 2 DMK president M Karunanidhi also sought the Centre's intervention to end increasing incidents of apprehending of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy and also their request to fish near the island nation for a select period due to dwindling resources. 3

    In other developments, reports noted that Pakistan's Federal Minister for Defence Production, Rana Tanveer Hussain has assured Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in Islamabad, Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Jayalath Weerakkody that all bilaterally important matters will be looked after with keen interest to improve and further strengthen the ties between the two countries. Federal Minister has given this assurance when the Sri Lankan diplomat called on the Pakistani Minister at his office on July 31, 2013. The two sides discussed the matters of cooperation in defence production although a collaborative effort is already underway in the field of communication. 4