"I would like to reiterate that the Government of India should not treat the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) with Sri Lanka as a settled question as the constitutionality of the 1974 and 1976 agreements have been challenged on extremely valid and legal grounds in the Supreme Court of India, she said."
Chennai, June 19 - Urging the centre to secure the release of 46 Indian fishermen from Sri Lankan jails, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Thursday said the international maritime boundary line (IMBL) with Sri Lanka should not be taken as settled.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the text of which was released to the media here, Jayalalithaa urged him to take immediate action through diplomatic channels to secure the release of all 46 Indian fishermen from Sri Lankan jails.

She said 11 boats as well as 23 boats seized earlier were still in Sri Lankan custody and demanded their immediate repatriation.

She said the Sri Lankan Navy's belligerent acts against innocent Indian fishermen to prevent them from venturing into their traditional fishing waters in the Palk Bay and in the vicinity of Katchatheevu has resulted in immense anger among the fishing community.

Jayalaltihaa said her government strongly believes that the unconstitutional Indo-Sri Lankan Agreements of 1974 and 1976 should be nullified and the traditional rights of the state's fishermen restored at the earliest.

I would like to reiterate that the Government of India should not treat the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) with Sri Lanka as a settled question as the constitutionality of the 1974 and 1976 agreements have been challenged on extremely valid and legal grounds in the Supreme Court of India, she said.

She said the vexatious issue of ensuring the safety, security and livelihood of Indian fishermen in the Palk Bay requires a strong and sustained diplomatic response so that a lasting solution, including the restoration of fishing rights of Indian fishermen in their traditional fishing waters, is found.


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