Govt’s reconciliatory talks underway at various levels

Thiruvananthapuram: Reconciliation talks have gotten underway at various levels as the state government steps up its intervention in resolving the chaos in Vizhinjam.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held a discussion with Cardinal Mar Baselios Cleemis on Saturday to find an amicable solution to the protests against the construction of the port, which has entered its 137th day.

The Cardinal met the CM after the Thiruvananthapuram Latin Archdiocese leadership held talks with Chief Secretary V P Joy in the afternoon. Joy met with Cleemis and Archbishop Thomas J Netto on the issue. The discussion was mediated by Cleemis Bava.

On Monday, the government might hold a detailed discussion with the anti-port strike committee and the church leadership. 

The Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi has also come forward with calls for reconciliation. 

The general consensus is to avoid further conflict. The proposal to include one more member, as recommended by the strike committee, in the expert group to study coastal erosion is also under consideration. 

However, there is no agreement regarding the stopping of construction to conduct the study on coastal erosion. The cases booked against the archbishop and the auxiliary bishop are another problem.

Though cases have been charged in the clashes that have erupted in Vizhinjam and the attack on the police station, arrests may be delayed.

Fisherfolk led by the Latin Church is protesting against the upcoming Adani Port project at the Vizhinjam coast in the southern tip of Kerala. The fishing community blames the port construction activities for worsening sea erosion that has in turn affected their livelihood and wrecked properties along the shore.

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