Chennai: DMK President M Karunanidhi yesterday stressed that setting up of an Indian naval base in Dhanushkodi or Mandapam near Rameswaram will bring a “lasting solution” to the issue of alleged attacks on fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.
He said both the Centre and the Kerala Government were firm on taking legal action against two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen from that state.
Karunanidhi said that many problems would have been averted if the Centre and Tamil Nadu government had shown even “one per cent” of that care for the state fishermen.
In a letter to partymen in DMK mouthpiece, ‘Murasoli,' he recalled that when the late Indira Gandhi was prime minister, she had ordered for the arrest of a Sri Lankan navy captain for allegedly attacking Indian fishermen inside the country's waters.
He was freed following an apology, Karunanidhi said, adding such strong action would alone “reign in” Sri Lanka, whose navy is often accused of attacking and arresting Tamil Nadu fishermen, sometimes even killing them.
The DMK chief said his party-backed TESO (Tamil Ealam Supporters' Organisation) had passed a resolution last year, demanding that India set up a naval base in Dhanushkodi, the southern tip of India, or Mandapam in Rameswaram.
“To save Indian fishermen from the atrocities of the Sri Lankan navy, Government of India should come forward to set up a naval base, at one of the said places and also adopt an approach similar to that of Gandhi and this would bring a lasting solution to the issue,” he added.